I was sat in my sun room in England. It was a lovely sunny afternoon. The big two kids were at school and I had a three week old baby in my arms. I’d just sat to watch the news when I fed him when up popped reports of a plane hitting one of the Twin Towers. I looked up at the wall. I had a huge framed black and white print of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Twin Towers behind it. I knew in that instant, I just knew it wasn’t an accident or even a suicide. I knew it was an attack and my heart froze.
My ex poo pooed me as did his parents who arrived a couple of minutes later. They’d landed from NYC that morning. They’d been on the viewing platform 24 hours before. I knew I was right though and when the second plane hit no one doubted it any more.
I felt like I was in a bubble. My ex went to pick the other kids up from school and I just sat there, holding my youngest. I couldn’t put him down or let him go. All I could think of was the people on the planes who would never see their kids again. It didn’t even hit me there were deaths in the buildings until later. I sat, frozen, watching until they fell. I don’t need to describe it, you all know how harrowing it was.
By this point, the kids were home. I needed normal and to hear them laughing and having fun. Like their innocence would wash away the evil of just witnessed. We went to McDonalds and then to the park. They played on swings and roundabouts until it grew dark. I didn’t want to go home to reality. A train drove by and the kids waved. The driver played Popeye the sailor man on his klaxon. I’ve often wondered if he knew what had happened while he was working. It was a surreal yet diabolical evening. It felt like when you dive underwater and hear nothing.. then when you surface the world explodes with vibrant chatter. I was in a cocoon. I was afraid to face 9/12 and what it might bring.
We can’t forget. We can’t allow these horrors to be diminished by passing time and fading memories. Children have grown without parents. Parents have lost sons. We’ve all lost innocence.
This affected the whole world. I was in England and it had a profound effect on me. Where were you? How do you remember the day? Let’s share our memories so we never forget.