12 Sept 2011

Hestia.....remembers September 11th

Everyone over the age of puberty will remember where they were 10 years ago yesterday.

Watching the horror unfold on the TV like an unbelievably horrible Hollywood film, we really did expect Bruce Willis to appear and make Everything Alright again.  We WILLED him to appear.  But real life is not like the movies and our world tilted on its axis that day and never really tilted back.

What did I do?  I tuned in to QVC.  For hours.

I wasn't wanting to buy anything.  I just wanted to see people behaving normally.  The ashen-faced presenters kept doing what they were paid to do - selling digital cameras and lap tops and I found solace amongst the scrolling phone numbers and 'limited stock' announcements.  It gave me an anchor into the normalcy of the day before, the 10th of September, when everything was ok.  When the worst of my problems was how I was going to lose all this post-baby weight.

From time to time, Tartarus flicked on the news and the horror piled in on us again - endless, endless replays of the planes hitting the buildings, people jumping holding hands, dust-covered zombies staggering through the streets.

We went to bed that night holding hands and with our baby son between us.  With no idea what the following days might bring; apocalyptic thoughts that we dared not voice out loud haunted us.

And yet here we are, ten years later, just bumbling along like we were on the 10th of September, yet entirely different.  I still watch QVC and am grateful for what they did for me that day.  Hell, I even buy stuff!

I never really lost the post-baby fat though.

There was SOME good came out of that day: We got to see the very best that people can be in the very worst of circumstances. And if we can choose to focus on that instead of the utter devastation that was visited on the US that day, we can make ourselves better people - and that's the best memorial we can build for those that died.

What were you doing, 10 years ago yesterday?


  1. I was at work and I remember someone coming in and saying a plane had crashed into the WTC. I thought it was some idiot in a light aircraft, then the full horror began to unfold on the TV in the breakout area. The internet seized up completely - it was impossible to get news that way. There was something surreal about watching on TV, even on the news, that just defied belief.

  2. Feeding an 11 month old baby his lunch. I didn't like the baby fat either and still have it!

  3. I was in bed - it was still early on the West Coast. We got a call to turn on the TV. My good pal Jessica Macbeth was visiting at the time - and we all just watched in horror. But of course it was Jessica who said we needed to start sending healing energy. Also, when it first happened and Flight 93 went down, no one knew if it was part of the scheme. No one except Jessica - who immediately said "the passengers took it down". Chilling. I also remember how hard it was for Jessica to get back home to Washington State - flights were all grounded and she was stuck in San diego for days.

  4. It was the summer before I went to uni and I had the day off work. I had sat down to eat my lunch and watch the news. I saw the second plane hit live on the TV in front of me.

    My sister worked in the city in London and people were at one point convinced an attack was happening on London. I could not get hold of her on the phone.

    I always think of the firemen. I studied American contemporary literature and culture at uni so saw a documentary about the firemen. They were amazing. The hospital too. People can be incredible.

    I will never forget that day. Hopefully that means I will always be able to keep in mind how lucky I am and keep those who lost their loved ones in my thoughts.

  5. It was a beautiful blue and gold day with the sun sparkling on the sea and the land lit green with sunlight. I walked a half mile to meet a friend to go for our 4 mile daily walk. My friend told me what was unfolding and we watched in horror, the television. We eventually went for our walk. I can no longer walk those walks but am learning to walk again a distance with the aid of a crutch. And so the wheel turns, year by year, marking great and small changes.

  6. I was taking my daughter to drama group. As we all ushered our just about four year olds into the room one of the dads asked us if we'd heard. He's a Canadian pilot I think (or he was)and the look on his face was just shock...needless to say we thought we'd heard wrong.

    Passing by the electrical shop in town I looked at the tvs and saw the live feed showing the 2nd plane hitting the tower. You're right Ali...it was like a Hollywood film, just waiting for the good guys to rush in.

    When I got home I sat and watched the news channel...all day. (of course I didn't forget to pick up dtr but the whole day was like wading through treacle) I cant say why I just watched and watched, but I think it was just disbelief, somewhere in the back of my mind I expected to wake up... or at the very least have a serious type come on screen and start the review of the latest, true -to-life Speilberg blockbuster we'd all just seen a clip of.

    Of course I was on the phone home rather a lot.

    It still haunts me.

  7. I was in a computer seminar in a hotel in Perth, when one of our gruop picked up a newscast on the web, and after that we just sat and watched the tragedy unfold. I must say it didn't have any direct effect on me. It was far away, and we were safe.

  8. I was in a team meeting at a hotel near Chester when one of my colleagues had a news text to his phone saying it was happening, we briefly turned on the TV in the conference room, watched as the second plane hit the tower, and then it was back to business as usual (that's the pharmaceutical industry for you). I was outraged and incredulous and then relieved that I felt so safe living in my little Welsh haven. The knock on effect in my family was a seize the moment kind of feeling, live every day as if it is your last, tell the people you love that you love them, and a bout of rash spending and spoiling one another x

  9. I started thinking more about 9/11 and something really poignant which was happening in my life at the time made me really think about where we fit in the world. My best friend from school was in a hospice with brain secondaries from breast cancer (aged 39)and when I visited her the weekend after the Twin Towers horror and mentioned it, she said she thought she had heard something about it - it was an insignificant event in her life and in her family's lives because of the timing *big sigh* x

  10. We didn't own a television at that time, so I am probably the only person in the world who hasn't actually seen footage of the tragedy.

    I was at home with my two year old son, recovering from a bizarre virus that had attacked my heart. My husband called me from work to tell me about it and then I listened to the radio, all day for days. The stress of it caused me to have a relapse of my illness.

  11. God it seems like yesterday,I was at work,watched the whole thing unfold on the screens, was convinced it was some sort of War of the Worlds type broadcast.
    The pictures of the jumpers are the images that still haunt me.


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