It’s hard to believe that it’s exactly 10 years since the world heard the devastating news regarding the tragedy that took place at the Twin Towers in New York.
I still recall the events of my day….
I had left work around midday to attend a short hospital appointment and had promised to drop off a cat carrying basket at a neighbours house on the way home. I knew this lady had very little money but what struck me as I was turning to leave by the front door was seeing the red scrolling banner of Sky News going across the bottom of her TV set.
Nothing unusual in that you may think – but these were the days that in order to have Sky TV you had to be able to afford to pay for cable service and this lady most certainly could not do that.
I got home and immediately switched on my TV. It was around 1.55pm (UK time) and I just sat on the sofa totally dumbstruck by such a terrible accident.
It was only a short time later when the news footage showed the second plane smash into the South Tower did it suddenly hit home – this was no accident….
After that, I was just glued to the TV set watching the events of that New York City morning unfold in front of me.
I telephoned my husband who was still at work (at about 3.30pm) and he informed me they were all in the jury dining room watching the TV there.
At my own office, they had brought a television set into the main Customer Service office. I was working for a UK tour operator at the time so it was paramount the staff knew what was going on.
It was like watching some kind of a disaster movie along the lines of Towering Inferno and so surreal. It was impossible to believe this was actually happening.
As the rest of the day went by and the whole story started to come out, I think everyone realised the enormity of the situation and its’ consequences.
At the end of March the following year and during the invasion of Afghanistan, I travelled with my friend to New York for a long weekend. It was something we wanted to do before I was heading off to my planned new life in Cyprus.
We arrived at Newark in pleasant temperatures on the Friday lunchtime. Saturday started out a little overcast and we took the boat trip around Manhatten Island and after disembarking the ferry we crossed on foot to visit the UN Building. Security was rife, everywhere.
By the time we got back to the New Yorker Hotel on Saturday evening, the weather had changed again and it was definitely going to rain. On the Sunday morning we went to visit the site around Ground Zero. The weather was appalling with howling winds, heavy rain and the grey skies painted a very dismal picture. In effect, it was quite fitting for that particular day.
I think 9/11 will be imprinted forever in our minds similar to those other fated days that people can recall such as the assassination of Kennedy and John Lennon, the sudden death crash news of Princess Diana and more recently, Michael Jackson’s untimely parting….
Those days I just mentioned are etched for very different reasons. They are memories yes, but they have no real affect unless of course you knew them personally.
9/11 was a day that affected the whole world as if it had simply just reached out and touched every single one of us.
I know I cannot forget seeing the footage of the rescue film crews in the atrium of one the towers and hearing the thuds of heavy objects. It took a little while before it sank in as to exactly what those sounds were. Heaven knows how many people chose to jump from the building that day…
All I know is it was absolutely terrifying – but I’m sure I will again be glued to the TV later today for this auspicious anniversary.
So, back to my initial question.
10 years ago, at this minute – what were you doing?