Saturday, 11 September 2010
Most of us, I imagine, will recall all too vividly where we were when the horror of September 11th unfolded. I was having a short holiday in Prague with my friend A, and we had gone by public transport to Karlovy Vary (Carlsberg) for the day. We had wandered round, fascinated by the history of the place, tasting the horrid mineral waters, taking photos. It was very cold, and we hadn't brought enough warm clothes - that first visit to the Czech Republic was memorable for the cutting winds and our inadequate clothing - and went for a very affordable lunch in the enormous and once-exclusive Grand Hotel Pupp, where in times past most of the crowned heads of Europe had stayed.
On our way out, we noticed a large group of hotel staff standing round a television, looking stricken. We stopped, and looked too - and saw one of the twin towers being struck by a plane. It was not clear then that this was no accident; we returned to Prague shocked and puzzled, unaware of how catastrophic this news really was.
Later in our hotel room, the rolling news repeated the footage again and again; we were too numbed by what we were seeing to take it in, or to believe that it was possible for people to deliberately commit such acts.
As the days passed, the ghastliness increasing as the details were revealed, we were all given no option but to believe it. And to know that the world as we knew it had now changed for ever.
My thoughts today are with the people who survived, and those who were touched directly and hurt deeply by the events of that day. I wish them continuing strength and courage to continue to live with their terrible loss.
Posted by rachel at 23:50