Saying goodbye to 2001

Dec 31, 2001 by Ian Evans

Most years have 365 days. If you’re lucky, it’s a leap year and you have one more day to do whatever it is you have to do by the end of the year.

2001 started off like most years. There was a January 1st and a February 14th and hot days in July. From all the indicators it looked like it was going to be a 365-day year. As the year closes, we discover that 2001 only had one day: September 11th, 2001.

I’ll admit that 9-11-01 holds far more significance to some than others. Ask most people in the industrialized world what that date means and they can tell you when and where they heard about, or saw, the tragic events that took place in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Many said that 9-11 was the end of U.S. and perhaps North American innocence about how cruel life in other areas can be. Ask someone in the Third World what the date means to them and they might not have heard about the events. To them that was just another day to starve, to be oppressed, or to fight in a bloody civil war.

It doesn’t mean that people didn’t feel the events like those who lost someone at Ground Zero. After all, the records show that people from many countries and backgrounds lost their lives that day. I think it’s important to note that people died on that day. People. Humans. Citizens of Earth. Not Americans, Canadians, Britons, Chinese, Portuguese, or Ethiopians.

People gathered in Ottawa, London, Moscow, Manila, Bonn and countless other cities to mourn the loss of lives because they realized that whether or not they knew someone in the towers or on the planes, they knew that someone had lost a mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, lover, spouse or friend. In this shrinking world of the six degrees of separation, we almost all know someone who knew someone who lost someone.

This may seem like a weird news topic for an entertainment news site, but after all, we’re all humans. Even in the harshest conditions we laugh, cry and love. I remember seeing a photo a day or two after the liberation of Kabul. It showed a bunch of men pushing and shoving to get into a building. Was it a food centre? A bank perhaps? No, it was a movie theatre. After years of not being allowed to watch movies under the Taliban, these people were looking for a way to escape for a short while, to laugh, to sing, and to share an experience with their fellow citizens. They wanted to spend time with other people.

Strip away all the politics, the tanks, the planes, and the disputes over borders and what’s left? People. People in New York. People in Kabul. People in the West Bank. Just people.

To all those people, and to all of you, I wish a safe, prosperous, healthy, loving and happy new year.

Ian Evans
Chairman & Executive Producer
Digital Hit Entertainment