September 11th 2001
I’m not normally one to comment on anything remotely political, or even related to current events, but I couldn’t let this anniversary pass without comment, for a number of reasons.
The images to the left are among some of the many images that are burned into people’s memories from this day 15 years ago. It’s a day that stands in memory for so many people around the world, as the day that terrorists carried out a series of coordinated attacks on American soil.
Here are some facts:
- Four flights from US airports were hijacked, and aimed at major landmarks and political and military targets.
- Two of these aircraft impacted the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in New York City
- One flight impacted the Pentagon, home of the US Department of Defense
- A fourth flight was on course for the US capital, Washington DC, but was brought down near Stonycreek Township, when passengers on the flight tried to overcome the hijackers.
- Almost 3,000 people lost their lives, and over 6,000 were injured in the attacks, or the aftermath.
- $10 Billion dollars of property and infrastructure damages were done, with over $3 trillion in total costs.
Let Us Never Forget:
- The men and women who lost their lives in the attacks, and the families and friends they left behind.
- Those who became part of some of the largest rescue, recover, and cleanup operations ever conducted.
- The bravery of those who put their lives in danger to save others from the wreckage.
- The valor of those who prevented the terrorists from reaching their intended target in Washington DC
I Remember Where I Was When I First Heard The News
I was visiting my friend Sarah, in Darlington (north England) at the time, and it was mid-afternoon on September 11th 2001. The two of us were in one of the city’s music shops, and I was just completing the purchase of a guitar, when the first reports started coming over the radio.
Three of us stood there in complete shock, as we listened to the initial reports of some kind of explosion at the World Trade Center in New York city. Now, this may seem like it was a very distant event, but this was obviously big news, since it reached the UK within minutes of the event happening, and then the studio switched to live reporting.
Having grown up with the IRA as a fact of life, those of us in the store were pretty familiar with how terrorist attacks are reported, and this was nothing like what we were used to. As the facts of the event became clearer, it soon became obvious that this was nothing like anything that we’d heard about before, and all the channels were buzzing with the same news.
Sarah and I rushed back to her place, and watched replays of the impact on the first tower, and the second, which had been hit while we were driving. It wasn’t until later that we discovered the full horror that had been inflicted on the US.
If you have a story of where you were on this day, fifteen years ago, please feel free to share it in the comments.