Ten years ago today I was in California. Driving to Denny’s for breakfast the radio kept repeating “the second tower has now fallen” although with little explanation of what they were talking about for those who hadn’t already heard. Over breakfast our server/waiter told us that planes had been hijacked, but I didn’t really understand how these two facts fitted together, or even the scale of the event. It was only when we’d finished eating and I was driving to work that I actually worked out the whole story.
I was working for SouthWestern selling books door to door, and that day was very surreal as everyone was in a state of shock. Many people I spoke to knew someone in New York, or had tales of lucky escapes. I carried on working all day (although didn’t really sell much) thinking that the terrorists “won” if they stopped us doing what we would normally be doing. Everyone was friendly, just not interested. Odd as that day was I found the following Friday evening weirder, as it was a time of remembrance across the US. Virtually every house had candles alight on their porches to remember those who died and the streets were eerily quiet.
Ten years on I can still remember the shock that everyone seemed to be feeling after the event and the unreality that seemed to pervade everywhere.