Like most of us, I know exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was at my parents. Two kids at school three miles away. It was 2.15pm. Neighbours had just finished and Dad asked if I'd like to watch Diagnosis Murder. I said yes so he kept the TV on.
A black screen came up saying "news report". We went live to New York and stayed there. I was driving to the school to collect R and C when the first tower fell. I arrived home and put the TV on in time to see the second fall. The TV just stayed on as hope faded. Like when Princess Diana died, we waited for someone to tell us it was a joke. But they never did.
On Oct 11th 2001 a friend sent me this.
I had a very dear friend question my faith in God right after the terrorist attack on America. Her question was simply put, "Where is your God today?" She was very hurt, as all Americans were, so I tried not to react defensively. Since that moment I have prayed and grieved over the disastrous events.
However, I believe I have the answer. I know where my God was the morning of September 11, 2001! He was very busy. First of all, he was trying to discourage anyone from taking this flight. Those four flights together held over 1000 passengers and there was only 266 aboard.
He was on 4 commercial flights giving terrified passengers the ability to stay calm. Not one of the family members who was called by a loved one on one of the high-jacked planes said that passengers were screaming in the background. On one of the flights he was giving strength to passengers to try to overtake the high-jackers.
He was busy trying to create obstacles for employees at the World Trade Centre. After all only around 20,000 were at the towers when the first jet hit. Since the buildings hold over 50,000workers, this was a miracle in itself. How many of the people who were employed at the WTC told the media that they were late for work or they had traffic delays. He was holding up 2-110 story buildings so that 2/3 of the workers could get out. I was so amazed that the top of the towers didn't topple when the jets impacted.
Although this is without a doubt the worst thing I have seen in my life, I can see God's miracles in every bit of it. I keep thinking about my friend and praying for her every chance I have. I can’t imagine going through such a difficult time and not believing in God. Life would be hopeless.
I stitched this tribute piece in 6 months
I wrote a poem a year later.
Towering above the Manhattan Skyline
The twin towers of the World Trade Centre stood.
Dwarfing the city, in elegant beauty,
They symbolised all for which America stands.
The financial heart of the slumber-less city,
Standing for justice, for truth and for love.
A base for all nations, to work and to live in
A city within a city it stood.
Out of a cloudless blue sky in September
Disaster struck in the blink of an eye
Planes crashed into each of the towers
Bringing horror and terror and death.
The Pentagon, a field in Pennsylvania
Were also hurt by this terrorist act
Thousands of people were killed or were injured
Or were widowed and orphaned too.
The images of the towers on fire were live on the tv,
Smoke billowing out as they burnt
Then falling and collapsing, one after the other
Together in life and together in death.
Out of the dust, came the story of hero’s
Giving their lives so that others may live
People that should have been there but weren’t
People that shouldn’t have been there, but were.
Memories of that September morning
Will live on within us each day,
As we mourn those we lost,
On the planes, on the ground
One day in history we cannot forget.
One year on and the pain is still here
And the anger and hurt that we felt.
The site is now cleared, and plans on the table
To rebuild and renew and remember.
9/11 will always serve to remind us
Of just what harm hatred does
But it also can serve to remind us
Of just what friendship can do.
© Clare Sept 2002