Saturday, 12 September 2009

In England 9/11 is the 9th of November.
At least it used to be.

For over 40 years my birthday came and went pretty much the same as everyone else's. But all that changed in 2001.
I was sitting chatting to a friend who called to wish me a happy birthday. Sky News was on the TV with no volume and I wasn't really watching it.
Gill, my business partner had been to the dentist and was on her way back to work, via the nice cake shop on Melbury Court I hoped. I'm a bit partial to their squishy chocolate cake. And although our friendship was on a bit of a rocky road, I knew more than likely she'd stop by and get me a birthday cake. Couldn't afford to buy it on the company back in 2001. She have to fork out from her own purse.

As I chatted to Joe about this and that, I subconsciously and gradually became aware of the silent TV screen. There was a building on fire; it was a big fire and come to look at it, it was a bloody big building as well. I glanced at the subtitles which Sky news annoying run along the bottom of the screen 24/7. A light aircraft had crashed into a New York building. In fact it looked awfully like the World Trade Centre.
'Have you got the TV on?' I asked Joe. 'A plane has crashed into a building in New York. It looks pretty bad.' As I said those words, the second plane hit the South tower.

My last eight birthdays have fallen on 9/11 and still the emotions of watching the footage are as terrifying and moving as they were on the day the live images beamed into our lives.
Just this week we watched 2 documentaries about 9/11. I even started to question why I was watching them. Whether it is morally wrong and morbid to watch the devastating footage year after year, or is it our moral duty to re-watch those images so we never ever forget? I think I can understand a little of what Monica talked about in her blog about working in a newsroom

The defining moment of 9/11 for me (and millions I'm sure) was the moment the second plane hit that South Tower.  In that split second America and the rest of the world who were watching knew this was a momentous, historical moment which would change the world for ever. The documentary footage highlights this so clearly; capturing live on camera people in the streets and buildings of New York who are watching the North Tower burn with mesmorised human curiosity, which in a split second turned to raw human terror.

In that split second my birthday ceased to be 11/9.
It became 9/11

1 comment:

  1. This was incredibly well done. Just, wow.

    And, listen. Your birth is something wonderful to celebrate, no matter what date it falls on.