Thursday, 11 September 2008

9/11 Seven years On

I recently spent some time in North America and visited both the Kennedy Grave Sites in Washington and Ground Zero of the World Trade Centre in New York.

The Kennedy Graves was obviously a highly emotional experience for many people who were exchanging "Where were you when Kennedy was shot" stories. However as I was only 3 years old on 22nd November 1963, I am not old enough to remember where I was when Kennedy was shot and visiting the graves was interesting in a detached or academic kind of a way.

The visit to Ground Zero was also a bit flat. When you have seen one building site located in a hole in the ground then you've seen them all. My main question was how come it's still a building site 7 years on? Rosie was more interested in a designer outlet Mall she had been told was on the block next to ground zero and Edward's main concern was that he was hungry! I suppose Ground Zero for my children was rather like Kennedy for me. The kids were only 9 and 10 when the twin Towers came down so world events were not really high on their agenda.

I however do remember where I was on 11 September 2001. I was working in Hartlepool that day and came home for some lunch. My wife was watching TV and I came in just in time to see the second plane hit the tower. I assumed it was a film or a drama documentary that she was watching but she told me it was a live feed and explained about the first plane. I didn't get back to work that afternoon but watched the unfolding horror of the people waving and then jumping from the windows as the towers came down.

It is fair to say the world changed that day.

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