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November 28, 2020

Terror September


Those who have lived long enough to remember a civilian aircraft being shot down in the then Rhodesia in 1978 have long since associated Terror September with our capacity for violence and evil. The international silence that followed rubbed caustic soda in the wounds of the bereaved.

While another attack has happened since, with far greater numbers of lives being destroyed, how does one measure the pain of Terror September – Pain and horror which has spilt over to every month, week, day or hour somewhere in the world?

Don Clarke – The Songteller – tells about it.

Terror September 2001

On the afternoon of the 11th of September 2001, Wendy and I were in a meeting in a small office at Mokomazana at the base of the Sani Pass with two construction guys who were going to build dams for us on the property. Outside the sky was heavy, grey and threatening. In the middle of the meeting the phone rang and Wendy answered it.

It was her mother calling from Durban. I was a bit annoyed because this was an important meeting. When she finally put the phone down, she said something like: “My mother says that a plane has flown into a building in New York, and it’s on fire.” I snapped back: “Nonsense! Your mother is probably watching a soapie! Anyway, you know how she exaggerates; can we get on with the meeting please?!”

About an hour later the construction guys left in weather that was freezing and about to explode, and Wendy and I went down to our little hut and switched on the TV. We huddled on our bed under blankets, and watched the twin towers of the Trade Centre burning, while through the window behind the TV set we could see a heavy snow had started to fall in the gathering dusk. That was the last thing we saw on television for a whole week, because 5 minutes later the power went down. It was one of the heaviest snowfalls in history, and we were trapped on the property for more than 7 days with no power and no communications. But that’s another story.

September – The Song

I wrote and recorded this song when the power finally came back. Although written for the anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, it is not only about the event. It is also about cause & effect, tolerance and forgiveness, and the destructive consequences of too much power, greed and possessiveness.

Above all, it cautions against the irrational fear of that which is different and unknown.

Don Clarke 2020

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One Response “Terror September”

  1. November 11, 2020 at 10:58 am

    God bless all Rhodesians no matter where they live now , a nation that was good in every way ,destroyed by a nation that today treats migrants better than there own, and were political correctness has reached a point of no return British politics who could every trust such a nation.

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