Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11: Rise Up

It’s 10 years ago this Sunday that America was attacked. Three thousand people were killed on the day of 9/11, thousands more directly affected as survivors or as grieving family members. Our Saatchi & Saatchi New York office is close by on the Hudson River, and I watched in horror as the events of that fateful day unfolded. We remember with a heavy heart the people whose lives were lost and the individual acts of heroism that accompanied the rescues.

The events of 9/11 precipitated the trillion dollar “War on Terror” which, will be probably never-ending: in the years following 9/11 I was called to a meeting with the Pentagon and a dozen other government agencies to address the semiotics of the War on Terror. Things were going badly for the US not only in the field of battle but the court of public opinion. I ventured the view that the mission had to change, not simply the language. Rebranding the War on Terror was not an option per se, there had to be a whole shift in imperative and action – to make the world a better place for all citizens of this planet.

The rhetoric of the War on Terror largely exited with the Bush team, and we are seeing some signs of successes being achieved without the previous obligatory chest thumping. A more palatable outcome. The globe has however been engulfed by economic turmoil. The cracks are now showing on Wall St itself where multi-billion dollar law suits are flying between the banks and other financial institutions. Countries are under siege economically; self-interest abounds; survival is a priority. Unemployment is the real #1 issue, even ahead of the crushing debt that many countries and states face. Make the world a better place? Yes, let us remember this spirit. Emotion alone can’t fix failed systems, but it can sure put hearts in the right place.

My soul is lost, my friend
Tell me how do I begin again?

Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!
Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!
Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!

Bruce Springsteen My City in Ruins

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