I was staying up late. I had gone to bed but been unable to sleep. I was watching TV, flicking between channels from CNN to BBC and back, with the volume down low so as not to wake my partner.
I thought I saw a plane fly into a building. Must be a disaster movie. I thought I was on CNN, but I must be mistaken. Except I wasn’t.
I watched. I flicked channels to confirm that what I was seeing was real, and not fantasy.
I went upstairs and woke up my boyfriend (now husband). I explained what had happened. The fog of interrupted sleep lifted, and he joined me downstairs in front of the TV.
The second plane flew into the South Tower.
We watched in horror.
Then one building collapsed.
Our thoughts turned to our friend who was living in New York. We couldn’t reach her but left a message on her cell.
And then the other building collapsed and a plane flew into the Pentagon.
Our world had been changed forever.
Never miss a chance
I have visited the World Trade Centre twice in my life. Both times, without entering more than the foyer. I never went to the top. I never visited ‘Windows on the World’. I never took the tour.
I wish I had.
Always grab an opportunity. Don’t delay. Do it today.
That’s my lesson from those devastatingly audacious acts of terrorism and the millions of lives they affected, and the thousands of lives lost both then and after.
Aircraft, gravity-defying machines of beauty that I love, used for death and destruction.
Please pause sometime today to remember all those affected by this tragedy.