My mum picked me up after school. At home, I switched on the TV to get my daily hit of smiley-smiley kids’ programmes. My most vivid memory from that day is finding that all the channels except for BBC Two were showing the horrific events that were unfolding on 9/11. BBC Two was showing the Tweenies. What a juxtaposition.
I spent the rest of the afternoon in front of the TV, absorbing information, my mind bewildered and empty of thoughts. Aged ten, I didn’t understand the politics: the motives and the reasons that would drive human beings – people like me – to such extreme actions (to say the least). Aged twenty, I still don’t understand.
After dinner on that day, I went to see my friends. We sat outside on the pavement talking about what had happened. Our innocent, naive minds didn’t stretch far on the analysis, but, even though we weren’t directly affected by the day’s events, we felt like we had come together in a time of need. Of course, although I didn’t realise it then, I know now that we have all been affected by 9/11 to varying degrees.
Today we have remembered that fateful day that shaped the world, and the unfathomably tragic loss of lives in the attacks, the rescue mission, and in the ‘war on terror’ that ensued. We will never forget those who died, and those who lived without their loved ones. We will never forget the courage, bravery and compassion; the kindness, empathy and selflessness that we have had the honour to witness in the wake of the attacks.