It's been 21 years since the world changed

Remember all who died either unexpectantly or in the service of trying to save them today as they participated in an event whose echoes and shadows we are still wrestling with.

Twenty-one years ago, the US and the rest of the world changed forever when a terrorist group used four hijacked commercial airplanes to successfully crash into three iconic structures. The loss of life as well as the dramatic effects of flamboyantly taking out our “front teeth”.

This evented in a string of US participation in wars and actions over a period of two decades which cost tens of thousands of US lives, hundreds of thousands of other’s lives and absorbed enough of our financial surplus to continually keep our government running at a deficit instead of being able to afford the level of social programs taken for granted in most other industrialized nations.

It caused new laws to be passed which took away layers of our personal freedom (rightly or wrongly) in the cause of our national security.

I lost a number of close friends in the event and it had traumatic effects on my businesses. I watched the second plane hit the WTC from my office and worked afterwards at “Ground Zero” and the events are still fresh in my mind belaying them taking place nearly a generation ago.



I remember exactly where I was when the first plane hit…just coming up the stairs at Canal Street subway station. The slow shuffle came to a dead stop and there were sounds of a kerfuffle at street level…I thought a fight had broken out and was actually initially relieved to find a gaggle of people looking up at one of the downtown buildings. Even when I first saw what they were gaping at, I don’t think I had any inkling of what was to come.

When the second plane hit, I was phoning my husband to reassure him that I was MILES away and PERFECTLY safe away from all the action. He was quite reassured until during the course of the morning someone said “Doesn’t your wife work down there?” and clued him in.

I didn’t get home on LI until gone 4pm to find my answer machine full of frantic messages from my husband, daughter, office manager and staff from my practice, and friends and relatives from England even.From 9.30 when our building was evacuated and then, I had been pretty much unaware of exactly what was happening other than snatches of conversations I overheard standing outside Penn Station as folk started to arrive, a good many covered head to toe in dust.

The impact continued locally for a good few months. Funerals for firefighters whose remains were eventually identified continued for close to a year in my town.


I lost a number of close friends in the event and it had traumatic effects on my businesses.

I can only imagine the impact 9/11 had on those living in NYC. I was living in the Caribbean at the time and had half a dozen close calls. Brother was supposed to be on the plane from Boston, but postponed his trip a week. A recent co-worker who had just moved to a new job in NYC had just left the towers when the first plane hit. Two of my students had their dad working in the towers, and my sister was in NJ as a traveling nurse where they waited in vain for survivors to be brought to their hospital. No one came. Drove to work in the normal morning with the kids in the car, (teaching at their school,) but coming home to armed guards protecting our neighborhood which surrounded a large refinery where DH worked, our having to prove we lived there before being allowed in. We had terrorist drills for some time after that, as one hit to the refinery could take out the island. Our kids were 3 and 5 at the time. All of the sudden building towers out of legos and having lego people jump off of it. I will never forget one of them asking on that drive home from school if they should hate the people who bombed the towers, and my choking out that no, they should pray that those people reach understanding of the wrong they had done, and change their ways. Not about to teach a 3 and 5 year old that it was their civic duty to hate. It’s amazing what parents have to choke back in the interest of their children.

Crazy day. Still impacting us.



I could not get into work on 9/11/2001

Many West Coast Federal facilities went into lockdown on 9/11/2001 after the second plane hit
I was not onsite yet, so after waiting outside about 20 min, the employees were provided instructions

  • Call this number after lunch time today

The number provided a msg with further instructions
Called again the next morning.

A few days later, the majority of staff were allowed onsite.

Lots of changes since then –
remember arriving at an airport about 1/2 an hour before a domestic flight and actually being able to board the flight?

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Lots of changes since then –

A few years ago a cynically asked when will 9/11 become another “sales holiday”? We already have several days of remembrance that have become 3 day weekends with 30-50% off sales. It is slowly finally happening. I’ve seen numerous “things” emblazoned with “Never Forget”, “9/11”, “Twin Towers”, etc, etc, with some to support a charity but many others not.

Seems like society has lost its ability to sit and reflect.



I mentioned to my husband at the time that this was the sort of event to morph into what I call a Hallmark Holiday. One likes to think that folk don’t forget too easily but the almost mawkish celebration tends to stick in my craw a bit too.

Talking about mawkish, we’re visiting Ireland and then England …flying tomorrow…and I’m wondering if there’ll be an element of that in the run up to HRH’s funeral.