Graham Reid | | 1 min read
On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 there are the inevitable think-pieces and essays on how the world was changed by that astonishing act of terrorism.
Do people in the West feel more safe for the "war on terror"?
How do you measure success in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Are civilians in those country more or less secure now?
Everyone will have their own perspective but one thing is for certain. A lot of innocent people died on that day, and many many more -- on all sides, from all factions and religious or apolitical persuasions -- have fallen victim since.
Whoever said it (most commonly attributed to mass murder Joseph Stalin), it remains true, "One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic".
We can't get our thoughts around some of the casualty figures we hear and so we often shut them out, sometimes for the sake of our own sanity.
But the death of one person -- as news reporters in famine zones, theatres of war and the like know -- is something we can comprehend. It is always in the telling human details.
That is what makes this song by Springsteen so poignant.
It is simple, pulls down to small details and repeats the refrain which is all that really matters to those left behind. Someone much loved is no longer here.
And "missing" is such a weighted word in this context.
People on all side of any conflict have learned this appalling fact.
And yet in the name of a faith, a political will or an ideology there will always be those who will say the sacrifice of others was necessary and worth it.
For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults.