I had just arrived at the beach house after a long day, ready to begin a quiet few days together. My friend was there already. We had the TV on and watched as the first plane hit the World Trade Centre. Many Australians were already fast asleep, but we watched the TV, all night, glued to the news, hardly believing what we were seeing.
The following days were the blur. News channels had the same stories on loop, trying to make sense of the madness that had happened. There was hope for those in the rubble, great grief at the loss, tales of heroism from rescuers and fear, that this had happened, that we were not safe, that it could have been us. I myself stood in that very building only 2 years earlier. It could have been me. The streets were quiet. People drove with their lights on out of respect for the lost. I had to explain to the children I nannied that this event wasn't happening over and over again, that it was just a movie playing again and again. We turned off the TV.
I was talking to Toby the other day about the attacks. We reflected on how the world has changed since that day. There is no doubt that the world has changed. Security is tighter. Attitudes towards multiculturalism have changed. I am more nervous in new situations and when I am overseas, where attacks have happened, than before. I still look around in the sky when I hear a low plane, wondering where it is heading, and I was in Australia. All those miles away on the other side of the world. And I knew no one who was involved directly in the attacks. I don't think that the world is a better place for September 11, 2001.
But I do remember, and I pray for the families of those who lost loved ones.
And I pray that terrorism and war would stop, once and for all.