On the face of it, I have no connection to this awful atrocity.
Ten years ago when the Twin Towers fell, and the Pentagon was attacked, I’d only visited the US a handful of times. I’d only been to New York once, but had fallen head over heels in love with the city.
On that September day in 2001, I’d left the office at lunchtime and was working from home. The radio was on; just a noise in the background to cut through the total silence which surrounded our house in the country. When the programme was interrupted with a newsflash that a plane had hit one of the towers in New York, I rushed to the TV room to see the pictures. I stood in front of the screen horrified, watching the second hit and then the collapse of the buildings. I was transfixed by the awful scenes from that wonderful city, until glancing at my watch I realised it was time to fetch the children from school.
On the narrow school lane, my ears glued to the car radio, I passed other parents in their cars. Some were smiling, or cheerfully waving at me – as if this was just another normal day. To me it seemed the world was under attack. Why didn’t everyone feel the same way? Hadn’t these people heard the news?
Daughter, who at the time was only ten, remembers how serious I was on that day. Now she tells me that at the time she couldn’t really comprehend what was happening, but as she’s got older she finds the whole terrible event more and more frightening.
As do I.