Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Plane Heard Around The World

I was at work yesterday, and a big part of our work actually involves documentation. A few times during the day, many workers - be they doctors, nurses, ward clerks or visiting policemen - would write down the date, and suddenly reel a little in realisation, almost all eerily saying the exact same thing -

'Oh, has it been ten years already?'

September 11 2001. A day forever etched into our collective memories, as citizens of the world.

Whether American, Australian or Malaysian or wherever it is we call home, everyone remembers where they were the day the two planes crashed into The Twin Towers.

My consultant remembers how he had just welcomed his newborn son into the world a week ago to the day. He knew that something was wrong when he switched on the television that morning and every single channel was showing the same thing.

Some of us were kids when it happened. A policeman remarked how he was in Year 8 (fourteen) when it happened, and woke up oblivious to how the world had changed as he slept, but knew something was wrong when he heard all his classmates talking about the 'terrorists'.

We were sitting at home that day, the family watching TV over dinner. Dad was in charge of the remote control and was lazily surfing the channels on our satellite TV when he stopped on CNN. We watched curiously as there was breaking news about how a plane had accidentally flown into one of the Twin Towers in New York.

We all sat up, curious window onlookers of what was happening halfway around the world from us. We had assumed all we were seeing was some misguided pilot who had flown a little too low, into the path of a tall building. An unfortunate accident.

We were still trying to process what we were seeing from the cameras trained upon The Twin Towers, when the second plane hit.

We couldn't believe our eyes, and curiosity gave way to fear as it dawned upon us that what we were seeing was no accident.

We continued watching, mouths wide open, as the buildings started to collapse slowly. The images of people jumping off the buildings or the gray cloudstorm of destruction engulfing the fleeing New Yorkers below will be forever etched in my memory.

Everyone at work remarked how surreal it was - as if they were watching a movie.

I remember my little sister, sixteen then, watching the TV, her fearful tears streaming as the carnage unfolded before us, helpless witnesses to a day that changed the world forever.

Hope and Security seemed to crumble along with the two towers. It seemed that today, some ten years ago, the bad guys had won.

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