'I've just bought a calendar and it seems to feature an 11th of September. And they said it would never happen again!' So said a Viz letter, soon after what we now universally call 9/11, even though to the British that clearly means the 9th of November.
But of course the event, whatever its name, is a truly shocking memory. I was working in an office where the internet was a new innovation, and already they'd firewalled anything useful. Except the BBC. My first and main overriding memory of the Twin Towers attacks is Wendy, from the call centre, walking into our office (accounts) and saying in a really quite urgent voice, 'a plane's crashed into the Twin Towers.' This was about 2pm, and all we could do was refresh bbc.co.uk to find out more. I read that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and I'd recently been there, and also to New York that year - seven months ago. I'd been on the Staten Island Ferry and taken my tourist photos of that view of New York, dominated by the Twin Towers. After a few hours of refreshing the BBC website at work I went home to my flatmate, who'd been at home off sick. She'd been with me on that New York/Washington holiday, and was now absolutely white with horror. Watching the rolling news with her I felt the same. The other day the BBC's London Tonight reported that 9/11 is now being taught in schools' history lessons. Of course it is, it's 'old' to today's 13 year olds. But we'd just been there. Carine and I watched it all that night in tears and shock. Our recent lovely holiday had had this happen. A friend of ours worked in one of the big banks, in Canary Wharf, and had a live video link to their New York branch. Yes, you can guess where that live link was. Darren posted up some transcripts of conversations from that day, and they were heartbreaking... too much.
Apparently it was 'the day that changed the world.' Maybe it did. Maybe we can't fly to another country with ease any more. Maybe we wouldn't even want to visit another country after this. Maybe we can no longer trust anyone. Maybe we should stick to our own. Well if this is what God and Allah want, they're not welcome in my world.
I look forward to receiving the spam mail six months hence - gosh LJ really has died eh?