Sunday, 11 September 2011

Where were you on 9/11?

Let’s be honest, we all remember that day pretty well. The image of the two towers in flames and crumbling to the ground like something out of a Tom Clancy novel after the two airplanes came flying into the buildings.

I remember waking up in a hotel room in Spain at the age of 7 at the time and packing all our stuff so we could check out. After check out we boarded an coach and headed straight to the airport. This is where the confusion set in. Not only were we kind of lost, but the place was jam packed. All flights were delayed, nobody knew why because all the TVs and radio shows were in Spanish, a language of which none of us spoke.

This was after the first plane crashed. I remember watching the tv in horror as the camera zoomed out all of a sudden with a Spanish lady sounding rather panicked doing the commentary for the Spanish news station and then I seen it. The second airplane came into view of the camera and went straight into the second tower. People around me started gasping and looking away in shock and horror. Eventually a nice man explained to everybody in the lobby we were in what was actually happening.

After a length of time one tower fell, and then the other. Everyone watched on in horror as they cut to footage of the pentagon and then the man translated what the news broadcaster said: “another plane is expected to hit the white house”. Even at the age of seven you realise that this day is going to be something you remember quiet well for the rest of your life. It is a story you are going to be telling your kids and your grandkids in years to come when they ask “Granddad, where were you when the bad man crashed the planes into the twin towers” To which my response will simply be “Shitting myself at the age of seven in a Spanish airport as all the flights were cancelled soon after the first tower came crashing to the ground”.

Anyone who knows me well knows I am terrified of flying. The above story is the reason why. Not just 9/11 itself, but the fact that all our flights were cancelled and we had to get a flight back the next day. Our flight took off in thunder and lightning so turbulence was a regular thing on that flight and when you are seven, when you see adults around you quiet scared you tend to get a bit nervous yourself.

The main reason I wrote this post today is of course to remember what happened 10 years ago today. To tell you my experience of 9/11 and even though I was quiet young, it’s like it was yesterday the image is so vivid in my mind. But my question to you is where were you on that September day in 2001?

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