Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years ago

I was in a tutorial for my PhD. I had my phone switched off for, you know, obvious politeness. When I came out and switched it back on, multiple messages and texts were beeping to signal their arrival. As fast as I tried to call someone back, another message, text or incoming call beeped me.

"Planes have crashed into the twin towers in New York".

Others will offer their thoughts, their take on the contexts and the 'consequences' of that day's events. But no one deserves to die in such circumstances and nothing can excuse the actions of those who bring death and destruction to others in such a manner.


SimonHolyHoses said...

It was on TV here at work. I saw the second tower get hit in realtime. It was like, "what the f**k was that? Is that another one?" Same with the towers coming down. It was unbelievable.

At the time my personal life was in a kind of self-imposed death spiral (which thankfully never came to the final conclusion).

In a horrible morbid way I couldn't stop looking. It was like my father's death. It was like "I do not want this to be happening" but I couldn't look away, and I couldn't help thinking, "so what the bloody hell is going to happen now."

At the time, I remember looking at the lyrics to Star Spangled Banner and seeing a very strange irony in them. Check them out yourself.

I also felt that I was witnessing an iconic moment. I wish I wasn't so influenced by showmanship.

And as you say. Nobody deserves to die so pointlessly. And yet they did. And yet they still do. It's a pity.

AnnaWaits said...

I was at school when it actually happened, and I heard nothing. As I walked home, there was this household on the way that was always watching Friends as I passed, but this day they were clearly watching the news - there was the anchorman on the screen at the time. I remember it striking me as odd that they weren't watching Friends.

Then I wandered into the house and there were Paul and Becca on the sofa, eyes glued to the TV. I think they just pointed as the film of the towers falling was re-shown. 'They've bombed the f*cking Pentagon too' said Paul. Like everyone else, I just watched the rest of the night, the rest of the week. I was probably meant to go to ballet but I don't think I did. I remember thinking 'I wonder if this is big enough for the date to be remembered'.

The next morning was one of the strangest of my life. I remember meeting my friend in the playground and not knowing how to start the conversation. There was nothing else to talk about, but you could hardly start 'did you hear about...' Of course they heard. Then there was all the rumours of World War III and the like. My first lesson was History but noone could concentrate. We just sat there, completely spaced out.

Then things started to get back to normal, I guess, but in a pretty new world.

Marie said...

What I find strangest is that I watched it on TV from quite early on, and now I can't remember if I saw the second plane hit in real time or not. I've seen the footage over and over and over so many times that I don't know what's a memory and what came later. Recently I read an article where someone wrote about watching the TV and seeing people jump, but that's not possible - they made a decision not to show that material. I feel like it's an event that has come to inhabit us all so we can't seperate up what happened, what we saw then, what we saw later, what we just imagined...

Here's the sick thing though: I sometimes catch myself feeling quite proud of myself that I was watching from early on. That I saw it, I "was there". I can't explain what's the cause of these feelings. But it's the truth.

chrissie said...

Extremely early tv reports on CNN did show, what looked like, amateur video footage of some people jumping from the first towers. I recall watching and simultaneously feeling mortified that I WAS watching. Unbelievable.

chrissie said...

Sorry for my earlier typo. I did not mean to add the's' to (first)

AnnaWaits said...

Simon and Marie, really you guys shouldn't feel bad about that fascination and inability to tear yourself away - I think we all know exactly what you mean. It was just too huge, too unfathomable to not be completely taken in, while absolutely horrified at the same time.