Sunday, 11 September 2011

The One With The Historic Date

Ten years ago today the world stopped! 

It held it's breath and watched the second plane crash into the second Twin Tower. It wasn't a freak accident. This was deliberate. This was terrorism on a scale we'd not seen before.

The world changed. Apparently! 

I've visited New York twice. Both times post 9/11. The moment I touched down at JFK airport I fell in love with this amazing, vibrant, loud city. We'd come from the west coast after LA and Seattle and the first thing I remember was the change in accent. A New Yorker was on the phone as I waited for hubby to collect the luggage. She was shouting for "Bob. Bob!" in a rich east coast twang.

When we got in the yellow taxi to take us to Manhattan Island I asked the Jamaican taxi driver

"Have ya bin busy?" and " What time ya on to?" 

He didn't answer. He didn't speak much English. Still Peter Kay would've been proud of me.

The Americans welcomed us warmly. This was Spring 2005 and things were still fresh, tourism was down, they were frankly glad to see us. They were glad to see anyone! Especially anyone British. New York felt like home. Hubby and I could've happily stayed.

The second time we went back it was Winter 2006. This time we visited Ground Zero. We'd not gone before as it felt like we were treating it as a tourist attraction, which it isn't. We'd seen it from the river on a boat trip on our first visit and I'd felt an overwhelming sense of anger just from that glimpse. How could anyone want to hurt these incredible, warm, resilient people?

When we actually went to the site it had a cold, eerie atmosphere. We read the names of those who died on the plaque. I got about half a dozen in before tears fell down my face. The plaque was huge. The names went on forever. They always will.

So today is the tenth anniversary of the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

On 11th September 2001 hubby and I had just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. It was my first day back at work after a holiday in Cornwall. I handed my notice in to the admin department that morning to go to a job in systems. I was office gossip until lunchtime. By 1 o'clock no one was talking about me anymore. Hubby still had a days holiday and was watching the news at home. He called me at the office to tell me about the first plane. As we were on the phone the second plane hit. He described it to me live as it was happening. 

So has the world really changed?

I guess everyone's world has changed because it does. It has too. In the UK we lived with terrorism on our door for years. As a little girl I remember us having to drive through London to go on holiday. There was no M25, no Queen Elizabeth bridge, no Dartford Tunnel. You had to go into London, across the Thames and out the other side to get to the west country or the south coast. I was about 5 or 6 years old. When we got to London I lay on the back seat and shut my eyes to pretend to be asleep. Because of the reports of all the IRA terror attacks on the news I thought the streets of London were littered with dead bodies.

If the TV news could do that to a little girl back then lord alone knows what 9/11 did to children in America.

So yes the world has changed because it was always going to regardless of what happened that day ten years ago. 

It's just "that " day made it change a bit faster!

So to everyone, but especially my readers in the US, whoever your god may be let him or her bless you today and keep you safe.

I'll never forget reading those names on that plaque and I never will.

Yes the world has changed in the last ten years.

Let's just hope it's for the better.....