Saturday 11 September 2010

Remembering this day

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.


Karen said...

I remember that day as a perfect fall day here in Greensboro; the sky was a brilliant blue. Then the phone calls started coming around 9 am (I was at work) to turn on the radio; to turn on the TV in the conference room; to get information on the Internet which for the very first time that I could remember had gone down. Not our connection, but the entire Internet.

It certainly has changed our world, hasn't it, and not in a way I could even imagine nine years ago.

"Sunshine" said...

What beautiful thoughts...America thanks you!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Horrified disbelief , helplessness , then an enormous admiration for the courage and fortitude that they all displayed .

the veg artist said...

We were in the Fisherman's Mission in Newlyn, Penzance. We'd just been to the art gallery nearby, and, having been to Newlyn lots of times, knew that anyone could buy a cup of tea and a Kit-Kat at the counter of the Mission cafe.

There were about a dozen foreign fishermen, all loud and making jokes. The TV was blaring, no one was really watching it, then I started to notice what was on the screen. As I realised what was happening, I called the woman behind the counter, who came to stand with us. Then the fishermen realised what was happening. We watched in disbelief for an hour or more.
When we left the cafe and went out into the sunshine, it was as if to a different world. We drove quietly back to St Ives. We could see from the faces of people in cars that most had heard - you could tell who had not. Strangers asked each other in the car park "Have you heard?"
We could see the harbour beach from our holiday flat - the following morning the beach was deserted. Such a busy little town. So quiet in shock. The church bells rang for a service, and we ran down the hill and arrived at the end of the first hymn. People cried and hugged. How could hatred have come to this?

flwrjane said...

Thank you for remembering.
I breathe a sigh of relief every time another 9-11 is over, this year seemed so ominous in this country with crazy preachers threatening to burn the Koran and people protesting this insane thought all over the world.

I live just a few blocks from the Pentagon. People come to mourn and remember every year. The perimeter is rimmed with armed military.
We will never forget.


judy in ky said...

Yes, it did change the world for all of us. I was working in Philadelphia when we got the news at my office via the radio. I rushed home on the train, riding with a car full of fellow riders all with shock on their faces and perfectly quiet. We all knew it was real, but it seemed so unreal.

Anonymous said...

I was spending the day with my Dad, when the tv programmes were interrupted to bring the news about the first plane .... at that time it seemed to be an accident. Then as we watched, the second plane hit and we realised we were watching aomething which would change the world ......

Anonymous said...

It was early morning in Australia, and we as teachers, were to allay any of the fears our school students expressed that day, but what can you say to such a disastrous and catastrophic event.As secondary school teachers I and my colleagues acknowledged confusion,while feeling confused and grief ourselves, wondering how such a thing could possibly be explained to students much younger than those we were with.

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