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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

9/11, Memories of America’s Heroes

No one will forget the events of September 11th. It was one of those helpless situations where the entire world witnessed the terrorist attack unfold, but could do nothing to help. I have asked a few people, of different ages, and they all knew exactly where they were on September 11th.

I was at home working when my youngest son burst in through the front door and switched on the T.V. He had watched the first plane crash, but I had missed it. At the time it was a terrible accident, which cost so many people’s their lives, or that is what we thought. The entire world watched the second plane hit.

Something amazing happened on that day. The terrorist did the most evil act in human history. Nobody likes war, but only a coward would hit an easy target. They were not taking on the America military; they were attacking at the heart of the American people. They wanted to fill them with fear, with terror and hopelessness, but they failed. What I saw that day will forever inspire me.

There were heroes that day. The fire fighters, the police, the military, the doctors, the nurses and paramedics, but I think the most amazing thing was the everyday person helping their fellow citizen. People were coming together. I saw it unfold on T.V. Random strangers treating wounded, people that had never met pulling other people away from the falling debris and dust, shopkeepers giving out water and food. It was a city coming together. If the terrorist attack was the height of true evil then the heroes of that day were the embodiment of all that is good in the world.

It was a scene from an apocalyptic movie and was happening in an iconic city. That was a dark day in American history, no, World history. Everyone was physically and emotionally affected by the events that day, but the terrorists failed. They brought an entire city together, they brought a nation together and for a moment in time the whole world came together.

I was retired at the time of September 11th, but I wanted to do my bit. I had served twenty-two years in the British Army and I wanted to do my part, which is why I went to Iraq as a contractor for the next six years.

In England we had the London bombings, my son-in-law took the train to work, had he been two minutes late he would have been on the train that was attacked. 9/11 inspired me to go back and do my part, but it wasn’t just me, people from all over the world wanted to do their bit.

That day the American people showed courage, bravery and that they could overcome anything. It was also a sign that terrorism would never win. No one will forget the heroes of 9/11.


  1. I was at home awaiting the birth of my 2nd child. My daughter turned on the TV to watch her children's programs and we witnessed the first tower collapse and then the 2nd plane crash. It was horrific and surreal. Never have I felt so helpless as to watch those events unfold and be powerless to do anything. Worse was knowing all the babies who would be born and never know their mothers or fathers that year. It was difficult to feel right about rejoicing in the birth of our son when so many had lost their lives, but 13 days later we did.
    Thank you to you and all the heroes who did what they could then, and in the years that have followed 9/11. The world will never forget and neither should we.

  2. I was listening to some of the new transcripts that were released on the news today. And it is shocking to just re-live that day again. It is like listening to something from a movie. Even the people in charge couldn't get their head around what was happening. What was amazing was how quickly the people on the ground regrouped, came together and set to work at helping others. Even those that had no professional experience did what needed to be done. That is how I remember 9/11.

  3. I was at home when my husband called me from the dentist to switch on the TV. Yes, your blog brought memories back on that day, and I feel tears welling just as I was watching the events unfold on that day 10 years ago.

    We should always remember history, and never forget the heros.

  4. On 9-11 I was at work, going about my busines as usual. My eldest son called me on the phone to tell me that a plane had crashed into the WTC. At first I thought he meant the WTC in Rotterdam (Netherlands)but I didn't hear anything about this so I went into our office room to turn on the TV there.
    We saw a smoking tower and held the event for a tragic accident.
    Minutes later me and my co-workers saw the second
    plane go in and we realised this was NO accident!
    Not much work was done the rest of the afternoon.
    Thoughts of World War 3 were spinning through my head. Respect to all involved in rescuing people and clearing the site.

  5. I got married on the 21st September 2001. The next day, we would have flown out to New York on our honeymoon. In the weeks and days leading up to my wedding day, I was so excited and kept boasting about what a great honeymoon I was going to have starting in Manhattan. I couldn't wait to get out there and vist all the sites including the WTC.

    Like many others, I didn't get was happening when I saw the first tower burning. Being abroad and very relaxed, I acutally thought it was part of a film. The reality which followed was overwhelming and that feeling of total shock and helplessness I will never forget. But I will also never forget just how brave and strong people can be. How the good on this planet will do everything and anything to help perfect strangers, their fellow men.

    As long as there are amazingly brave people, like the firemen, policemen, ambulance crews, emergency services, who acted on that day in New York, as well as the military and civilian personnel from all over the world in the years following 11th September, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom have given and continue to give their lives, I will always be proud of the human race, certain that good will always overcome evil, just as it always has throughout history.

    September 11th is another turning point in history since people of all nations suffered and then came together united. It will never be forgotten and is a reminder of how we can overcome anything.

  6. I was getting dressed in my Khaki uniform to head into my recruiting office when the second plane hit the building. I watched it on CNN. When I got to work, everybody was scared and wondered what to do. I sent them home. Then I sat in my office waiting for further instructions from District HQ. None came. I had alot of time to reflect on what had happened and what was yet to come. That is when I decided to stay in past 20 years. I do not regret my decision one bit.

    ATC(AW/NAC) Lauren A. Blakley
    USN (Ret.)

  7. Thanks for this post Simon. To see how the events of that day was experienced across "the pond" and how people all over the world were eager to get involved.

  8. On 9/11 i was in a shop, the second plane just hit the tower,
    CNN was shown on the screen and the peoples in the transmission were commenting about how Wall Street and the other economical poles would react about it.
    No one spent a word about the victims in the crashes.
    it shocked me, I hated them.
    Italian military para',