Saturday, 11 September 2010

9/11 remenbered

For the last few days, out television stations have been showing various programmes related to the incidents of September 11th 2001. This day has become famous as 9/11 (due to way the Americans write their dates, and is one of the most iconic dates in modern history).

For our parents many can remember where they were when they heard the President Kennedy had been shot, and no doubt older readers will remember where they were when particular incidents occurred. These events are far and few between, but I would think that virtually all of you who read this, will remember where you were when you heard what was happening in New York that day.

In those days I was a lorry driver, delivering insulation materials around the east and south east of the country. I don't listen to much music radio, but I always enjoyed listening to Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley, otherwise known as Mark and Lard, on Radio One in the afternoons.

I was delivering in Suffolk, when news started to filter through around 13.45 that day. At first it was just being reported as an incident, as no one knew what was going on after the first 'plane flew into a tower. But once the second incident happened, it was obvious that this was an organised attack. The whole tone became very sombre, and the re were constant reports coming in on the evolving situation.

I finished my round, and returned to work to load up for the next day. Right next door was a timber company, and their driver's would be out for several days at a time, and had sleeper cabs. As you can imagine, it was the main topic of conversation, but no one really knew what was going on. One of the drivers from next door turned up, and he had put the television on in his cab, and so we flocked around it, watching as the story unfolded. I can't remember exactly, but I think we may even have been watching when the first tower collapsed.

So that evening I watched it on the TV when I got home, and then went out. It was strange that with a couple of friends, we had obtained tickets to a League Cup match that night between Colchester and Barnsley. Naturally there had been discussions as to whether the games that night should go ahead, and it was decided they should. As we walked up to the ground, one of our group was telling how he, and his colleagues, had been sent home as they worked at Canary Wharf, and there were concerns that buildings in Britain would also be targets.

The aftermath of 9/11 are well known, but are not for this, this is about that day, and the many lives that were lost. It is also to recognise the courage and sacrifice of the emergency services in New York who entered the burning buildings as those that could, fled. Many died that day, which is what makes the turning of it into a weapon for political, Iraq, and personal, Terry Jones, motives, sad and despicable.


  1. I am of an age when i remember both 9/11 and jack kennedy's 1963 i was in a club waiting for a group called jimmy powell and the five dimensions to come on stage (their main claim to fame was that a young rod stewart played harmonica) the announcement was made over the tannoy, it was a chilling moment.. in 2001 I was on a plane flying from Dubai to Hong Kong I landed at Chek Lap Kok Airport and saw the tv pictures in the arrival lounge..another chilling moment...I had colleagues working in the twin towers who luckily all survived....

  2. I was working at Essex Uni but at the end of my lunchtime saw the news on the Guardian website about the first plane hitting the North tower. I couldn't resist checking their website for news about half an hour later and then I realised how the world was changing. Think I ended up staying up til 5am that night watching the news (including the Israeli government's heinous attack on Palestinians as potential terrorists). 9 years later there's still an unreality about those tragic events despite how they have shaped our times and bolstered a negative world view which permeates through today's politics of fear and control.