On September 18, 2002, Arundhati Roy gave her universally acclaimed Come September speech in Santa Fe, New Mexico as part of the Lannan Foundation’s Readings & Conversations Series. Ms. Roy was the winner of the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award that year.
In the speech, Ms. Roy reminds us that September 11th resonates for other reasons in Palestine and Chile.
September 11, 1922 – The British Mandate for Palestine begins.
None of us need anniversaries to remind us of what we cannot forget. So it’s no more than co-incidence that I happen to be here, on American soil, in September – this month of dreadful anniversaries. Uppermost on everybody’s mind of course, particularly here in America, is the horror of what has come to be known as 9/11. Nearly three thousand civilians lost their lives in that lethal terrorist strike. The grief is still deep. The rage still sharp. The tears have not dried. And a strange, deadly war is raging around the world. Yet, each person who has lost a loved one surely knows secretly, deeply, that no war, no act of revenge, no daisy-cutters dropped on someone else’s loved ones or someone else’s children, will blunt the edges of their pain or bring their own loved ones back. War cannot avenge those who have died. War is only a brutal desecration of their memory. (Arundhati Roy)