Thursday, 11 September 2014

A day to remember

When something happens in the news we often find ourselves in conversations saying "I remember where I was when I heard......" I was in bed when my mum called up the stairs to say Princess Diana had died, I was in the shower when I heard that Michael Jackson had died and today, September 11th 2014, I remember where I was 13 years ago.....

September 11th 2001. An ordinary day, I had just got back from food shopping with my Mum and Dad. When I got in the house, my usual routine was to put on MTV and quickly listen to some music before my Dad would tell me to "turn that rubbish off". September 11th 2001 was different. When I turned on the tv it immediately showed the last channel that had been on. It was a news channel. On the screen I was met with a view of the New York skyline and one often Twin Towers on fire. Initially it seemed like a tragic accident. I called out to my parents as I knew when they had worked for a bank in London they had colleagues working in the World Trade Center. "There's been an accident. A plane's hit the World Trade Center" I remember saying. 

As I continued watching I saw footage of a plane hitting the building. I was shocked as I had originally thought it was a small tourist plane but this was a passenger jet. Then I froze. This wasn't footage of the original crash. This plane was hitting the second tower. The first one was already alight. I screamed. My parents came in to see what was wrong. News agencies reporting on this were also jumping to attention. This was a second plane...the second tower. What was going on?!

The rest of the day was a blur, sitting watching the news, tears streaming down my face. More planes hijacked and crashing, towers collapsing.... It was like something out of a film. But this was a very scary reality.

The events of 9/11 were truly appalling. The news showing the aftermath of the attacks was heartbreaking- the broken New York skyline, the exhausted faces of the rescue teams, the distress of families left behind. 

13 years on, the pain is still raw. There are still empty seats around dinner tables, faces missing from family photos, families still waiting for their relatives remains to be found.

My thoughts today are with the thousands of people affected by 9/11 - the victims and their families, the survivors, New York City, Shanksville Pennsylvania and Washington DC. 

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