I There are monents in social history where people of certain ages remember where they were when key events in global history took place. For my parents generation it was the assignation of JFK, as a teenager, the death of Princess Diana was an important event but what happen 14 years ago in NY, Washington and Pennsylvania will forever be etched on my mind and what I was doing.
September 11th, 2001 started as any other day at the time. I was about to start back for my second year at university in Bournemouth. I worked part time in a pub/restaurant in Northborne Dorset. I was behind the bar that lunchtime.
Before we knew of anything going wrong I remember thinking it was much quiter than normal I ended up using brasso on the bar and deep cleaning the mixer fridges. There was only 1 customer in, an american working at Chase Manhattan, he was on and off the phone in hushed voices and drinking heavily for a businessman not eating at 2pm. Between calls he was gloomy and pessimistic but interestly did not say what was happening.
When the managers changed shift at 4pm the duty manager came and said their was a massive accident in NYC and in Washington involving planes.
My bus home was full of chatter. Frustrating chatter of inaccurate speculation that happens as big stories break. I called home and my mum said that people had delibrately crashed planes in NY.
My heart broke. I had always dreamed of NYC and now she had been scared attacked and injured.
The next few days until I started back for my second university year I like many others became gluded to rolling news and resented if I had to leave the flat and step away from the TV.
The consequences of those events 14 years on are still huge politically and socially. Wars and further attacks including Madrid and London and a new fear and heighten security as we travel. There is no doubt in my mind that 9/11 changed the world foreverand not for the better.