Where were you when……(No 2)

On this day in 2001 the Twin Towers in Manhattan were struck by airplanes hijacked by terrorists.

When it happened I was in the middle of a run of night shifts. I would normally have still been in the land of nod at the time that the first airplane ploughed into the North Tower, but for some reason I can’t explain, I got up early from my slumber and turned on the TV just as the second airplane crashed into the South Tower.

My first thought was I was watching an afternoon ‘made for TV’ movie, it wasn’t until the monitor switched to a news reader did I realise that the images were real.

At that time I had already booked a holiday to visit New York for myself, my sons and my mum for March the following year. My oldest son, Scott, was very apprehensive about flying there after what had happened on 9/11 and he needed a lot of support and persuasion to go ahead with the holiday.

We had a fantastic time in the Big Apple and saw all the sights. But what struck me about Ground Zero was how dusty it still was after 7 months, it was like a blanket over buildings and streets. The site was still devastated with buildings half standing and rubble everywhere.

A year later when I returned with some friends, Ground Zero looked completely different. The dust was gone, the rubble cleared and some of the buildings were rebuilt. There was an exhibition showing the plans for the new tower and a huge wall covered with memorials and messages that were so moving.

Conspiracy theories aside, I will never understand how humans can plot and carry out this kind of terrorism and murder thousands of innocent people. Let’s hope and pray that we don’t have to witness the like of it ever again.