Memories – A Haibun

The Līgo Haībun Challenge is a weekly challenge where you choose something to create a post from. Whether it is fiction, a poem or something dear to you. It is a two-part post that is one part as I have just mentioned and the second part is where you finish with a haiku style poem. Each week, there is either two photos to choose one of; two quotes to choose one of; or two words to choose one of. This week it is two photos – “Two swings in the snow” by Ye Pirate, and “A view of grass from below” by Penny. I have chosen the swings. This brought back a memory of when I was a child of nine or ten. Every time it snowed enough, we grabbed cardboard boxes, old blankets, bread crates, anything that could be sat on and ran for one of the steepest hills. There is a photo of the hill at the bottom.

© Ye Pirate

© Ye Pirate

The snow fell as tiny flakes. Each unique, each telling a story of its own, each with its own arms attempting to grab hold of the one falling by its side. I grabbed the cardboard box and I ran to catch up with my friends. To our small legs, it seemed a long way to walk or run, but with the snow, we knew the walk ended in joy and fun.

Running up the road always hurt the chest. Always made the legs ache. Always made the eyes water as the road led up a steep incline. At the top, the road led down and through a tunnel. We ran screaming through, shrieking, and our sounds reverberating off four walls.

Emerging from the tunnel and the hardest part of the journey now lay ahead of us in the form of a steep hill. Running from side to side, making our way up so we did not use all of our strength in one go, but each wanting to be the first.

The top of the hill felt like a playground to us, with the cardboard being our swings, the breadbaskets our seesaws. The far side beckoned us children. The youngest – eight years old, the eldest – thirteen. Then the yelling as we ran and leapt onto our chosen sleds, hurtling down the side of the hill faster than we had ever travelled before.

children in winter
speeding down hills in the snow
then climbing to repeat 

Sugarloaf Hill Folkestone UK

Sugarloaf Hill

A Photo A Day … September 29 2013

As dusk started to fall tonight, I decided that I would try to take a reflection photo of the sea and the lights on the docks. I wanted to take it when the light still had some say in the matter. I am happy with how this has turned out. In the background, you can see a couple of ships that were heading down the English Channel, and on the left is a ship that was backing into its berth.

September 29 2013

9/11 – A Child’s View

In 2010, my nephew was asked to do a piece in history, so he chose to write about 9/11. He wrote this in 2010 when he was 11. He received an “A” for this, and only missed out on the highest mark – “A+” because he does not mention what security is in place as a result. I have his permission to post his essay in its entirety. Please bear in mind that this was written by an 11-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, in the UK. I am proud of him for what he has written here.

The 9/11 Terrorist Attack- 2001

By Alaric Forbes

The 9/11 attacks were a series of attacks on the united states of America by al-Qaeda, a group of terrorists who hijacked 4 jumbo jets two of which were flown into the two towers of the world trade centre, one was flown into the Pentagon in Washington and the fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

 The first the world knew of the attacks was when, at 08:46 (EST)  an airline flew into the 96th floor of the north tower of the WTC. It was believed to be an accident but when at 09:03 another aircraft flew into the 81st floor of the south tower, it proved to be something more sinister going on.

 Emergency services and the media rushed to the scene as the world watched in horror. Fire and police crews tried desperately to rescue survivors trapped in the towers, especially those trapped above the impact zone unaware that worse was to come.

 Whilst rescuers in New York were bravely trying to save innocent civilians from the World trade centre, on the other side of the US in Washington, another plane was heading towards the Pentagon and at 09:37 it hit it killing everyone on board the airliner and 125 people in the Pentagon of which 55 were military personnel.

 Many people think that no plane hit the Pentagon and claim that in video clips there was smoke that seemed to be coming from something much different. At least 130 eye witnesses claimed to have seen the aircraft’s impact on the Pentagon.

 At 10:03 United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania near the small town of Shanksville. From the black box recording and phone calls made by passengers of the plane, it is believed that the plane was crashed as passengers tried to take back control of the aircraft from the terrorists as they knew the plane would be crashed into a significant target, which experts believe would have been the White house.

 Shortly before flight 93 crashed at 09:59am the south tower of the WTC collapsed 56 minutes after the impact on it. Many people, both civilians and emergency personnel, were still inside the tower when it collapsed. Then at 10:28, 29 minutes after the south tower, the north tower also collapsed as the world watched in horror.

 2,996 people died in the attacks, these include: the 19 hijackers, 246 passengers on board the four aeroplanes the remaining number of casualties were civilians and rescue workers in and around the impact zones. Around 6,000 people were injured in the attacks. More than 90 countries lost civilians in the attacks, making the attacks an international incident.

 The 9/11 Attacks were carried out by 19 hijackers who were members of the terrorist organization: al,Qaeda. Al,Qaeda is an Islamic group of fanatics run by  Osama Bin-Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri.

Al,Qaeda operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad, a holy war, but to most of the world it is considered to be simply a terrorist organization.

 Al,Qaeda claimed it’s motives for the attacks were due to the continued presence of America in Saudi Arabia following the Gulf War. The US support of Israel was another factor as Bin Laden believes the existence of Israel is a crime. Another reason given was the continued sanctions against Iraq following the Gulf War.

 America’s response to the 911 Attacks was to declare it’s ‘War on terror’ starting by its invasion of Afghanistan in an attempt to overthrow the Taliban who are believed to harbour al,Qaeda.

 The Attacks on 9/11 resulted in worldwide disruption to airlines as planes were grounded through fear of further attacks. Security measures in airports and public buildings was increased throughout the world.

 The damage at the Pentagon was repaired within a year of the attack and a memorial has been built next to the Pentagon in memory of those who lost their lives. The site of the world trade centre after months of round the clock work was finally cleared at the end of May 2002.

 The rubble cleared from the world trade centre was taken to Staten Island where experts sifted through the debris for human remains. This was completed in June 2010 with 72 human remains found. This brought the total number of fatalities identified to 1629 out of 2753 victims.

 A memorial has been built where the two towers stood and every year, on the anniversary, a tribute in light is launch where 88 spotlights are shone directly into the sky with the effect of two towers of light.

 A memorial is being built where flight 93 crashed and is expected to be built by 2011 marking the 10th anniversary.

 Several people have died since the attacks from toxic dust related health issues with many more still sick. The names of those who have died since the attack will be added to the memorial as victims of the attacks. A new World Trade Centre is currently being built at the site and is also expected to be completed in time for the 10th anniversary and at 541 metres will become one of the tallest buildings in North America.

 The effects of 9/11 are still felt 9 years after the attacks, with higher security measures still in place in airports and public sites. Most countries are on a constant state of high terror alert with the public being ever vigilant of any suspicious behaviour or object.