It used to be 'Do you remember what you were doing when Kennedy was shot?' sadly today it's 'Do you remember what you were doing when the planes struck the World Trade centre?'
I've been watching the various documentaries about 9/11, some new and some repeats, to this day I still find it hard to believe that some thing like this could have happened.
I know exactly what I was doing on that fateful day. I was working in a military town about 40 miles away. My mobile phone rang, it was my wife. She was talking quickly and blurted out that a plane had hit one of the twin towers in New York, next she was saying that another had hit the second tower. I thought she was joking but she was deadly serious. She had the news channel on while she was doing some ironing. We spoke for about half an hour. I had no access to a TV so I couldn't really comprehend the enormity of what I was about to see later on. I didn't know of the tower's collapse, my phone battery died.
When I got home I started to watch the news and could'nt get my head round what I was seeing. I remember the initial estimates floating about put the death toll at about 20,000, no one knew how many people got out or how many perished in the collapse. As we now know it was far less.
I had some dinner and put the kids to bed. I stayed up watching BBC news 24 and spent most of the night just shaking my head in disbelief. I think I went to bed at about 2am in the end.
There was us thousands of miles across the atlantic in utter disbelief and shock, I simply couldn't imagine how our cousins in the states, especially New York felt.
My wife will be visiting New York next year and she will be paying her respects at the WTC site. I've recently been to the states visiting Richmond Ambulance Authority in Virginia. We had to fly into Chicago O'Hare airport first. I remember looking out of the window at the Sears tower (pictured) and the first thing that immediately sprung to mind was 9/11.
It just doesn't bare thinking about.