Today marks 20 years since 9/11, so I wanted to write a quick post to mark this day and honor the people who lost their lives.
My story about that day
20 years ago, I came to the UK on holiday with my family for the first time. We visited Somerset, where my dad’s brother and his family lived, up to Glasgow to see my grand-father and then to London to experience the big city.
We were in London on September 11th 2001. That day started like any other while on holiday in the big city. We went out sight-seeing and museum going. We decided to go on the open top red sight-seeing buses with a tour guide.
My sister and I were sitting together in front of my parents, and behind an American lady and her friend. The tour guide was up front and when his phone buzzed he went white as a sheet and stopped telling us what we were seeing. He said, and I remember distinctly, “I’m very sorry to say ladies and gentlemen, I have just had word that a commercial plane has flown into one of the twin towers in New York City.” The lady in front of my sister, immediately started crying. Turns out she worked in the World Trade Center and was on holiday in London with her friend. Can you believe the luck in that!!!
The immediate fall out
Everywhere we went from there, there were projected images of what was going on across the pond. All public transport stopped, people stopped in the tracks to watch in horror as the 2nd plane went in the other tower. I cannot tell you how much this affected me, like so many others.
3 days later we were due to fly back to Zimbabwe from London and my 9 year old brain wasn’t having it. I was so terrified of flying because of what I had seen, I refused to get on the plane. My mum had to force me through the doors. I was sick, as in sick sick, all the way home, 11 hours to Johannesburg and 2 hours to Harare. Again I refused to get on the 2nd plane home as well. I can honestly say I have never had a worse flying experience in my life.
About 12 years down the line, I dated a guy from the States who lost family on that horrific day and both that and my experience left an impression so profound on my life. Every year I mark this day so we never forget what human kind are capable of and remember the lives that were lost and bravery of the firefighters who served that day.
I cannot believe it has been 20 years. Lest we forget!!!