Friday, September 11, 2015

Memories of 9/11

Where were you?
The last generation asked each other "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?"
For mine, it is, "Where were you on 9/11?"
I was here in the UK, sitting at the one computer in the house, talking to a friend in Florida via MSN messenger.
I had the radio on, and my program was interrupted by the news, so I switched on the TV. There it was, live from New York. I said to her, "Turn your TV on."
She said, "They won't have the same program on here as the one you have there."
"Yes they will," I said.
We watched the same pictures together, relayed from one of the big American news networks, NBC I think. At first it looked like an accident. People had been talking about the possibility for years, but they were thinking small private place like a Cessna. Nothing like this.
When the second plane hit, it was obvious it was anything but an accident. We watched the day together, Kathy and I, because we were alone, and scared. It was terrifying to watch the events unfold. When the first tower collapsed, I screamed, and I heard other people in our quiet street yelling as well.
Then a writer friend broke into our conversation. He gave us a phone number and asked us to call his great-aunt, who he was living with at the time. He was working in the Pentagon, and another plane had hit it.
The pictures started coming through on the TV. He wasn't hurt, he told us, but the plane had taken out the phone network. The computer network was cabled way underground, so it was intact. His great-aunt didn't have a computer.
So we called. Bizarre, that people so far away could call her and tell her he was fine.
Like the rest of the world, we were numb with shock. I'm just glad I wasn't alone that day.
So where were you that day? How did you hear the news?