Whenever today arrives, my mind shoots back immediately to 2001. I’d come home from school and my mum was worried on the phone to my Dad, she kept saying , ‘I don’t believe you’. Something had happened in New York.
She switches the television on in the kitchen and there it is, on every channel it seemed, the smoke that would signal just the beginning of a day to mark a black point on history. I remember feeling shivers all over, I was too young to fully comprehend the gravity of the situation, but everyone knew it was going to mean something big and not just for the USA.
The footage is haunting to this day, and I was all the way across the pond. It would be hard for me to even comprehend the impact it had on the immediate community in New York.
Most people seem to remember where they were when they watched it and I guess that is the mark of history; An unspoken collective understanding of an event’s impact before it has taken effect.
I was fortunate enough to visit the twin towers before 9/11 and I’ve also returned to Ground Zero. It’s a very weird feeling of displacement.
My friend’s Dad was in New York and I remember her sitting in the school cloakroom, trying to hide her worry, but she couldn’t. None of us could, this had a ripple effect unlike any event I’ve ever experienced.
12 years on and the war on terror is still very much alive, but so are the communities this event brought together.
‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ and it seems to always ring true that in adversity community shows its strength and America and the rest of the world did.
I’d like to take this opportunity to send my thoughts and wishes to those families who lost their loved ones on this day, to all those fighting against the prejudice this day caused and for everyone striving for peace.