Date Submitted: 09/04/2011
Author Info: Dianne (Salisbury, SA, Australia) 
Occupation: Administrative
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I was living at my sister’s house in Adelaide while I was waiting for my own house to be built. I had my television with me in my sister’s spare room, in case it got damaged while in storage. I can’t remember what programme I was watching but when the first news reports came through I thought, at first, as did everyone, that it was a tragic plane crash, an accident. But when the second plane hit it became instantly clear that it wasn’t. I watched all through that night as those terrible events unfolded, unable to look away, wandering how many people had been killed when the planes hit and hoping that everyone who had survived had managed to get clear. But when the first tower collapsed I just started crying as I realized that there were probably still thousands of people in the building when it fell. I thought to myself, “Get them out of the other building now. If that building fell then the other tower will as well. Get them out.” I cried at the news of the third plane hitting the Pentagon and I cried when the fourth plane crashed into that field. I felt so helpless because I was here in Australia and there was absolutely nothing I could do. The next day, I made myself go to work, when what I really wanted to do was curl up into a little ball and cry. Even though I didn’t know a soul in America, let alone anyone directly affected by this tragedy, I mourned all the lives lost and felt nothing but anger and hatred for those who had perpetrated this atrocity.
But the most telling memory of that time for me came two days later. I work in the central business district in Adelaide and I was working down the street to get to the office block I work in when there was the sound of a plane overhead. Across the street from my workplace there is a multi-storey hotel. The planet was a local flight, a small passenger jet on its way out of Adelaide, just a regular flight. But the angle at which it was flying took it behind the hotel across the street and from where I and those around me were standing it looked as though it was going to crash into the hotel. We had all spent the past two days watching the images of the second plane crashing into the WTC and those images had become ingrained in our minds. When that plane in Adelaide flew behind that hotel on a harmless regular flight, and even though the relative size of the plane to the hotel made it clear it was not going to crash into the hotel, everyone person on that street instinctly crouched down with our arms over our heads expecting that plane to crash. Of course, it didn’t but subconsciously we were bracing ourselves for the explosion. For all we know it was a terrorist attack. It had only been two days after all. No one spoke but we were all thinking the same thing. We would never forget what had happened on September 11, 2001 because everything we had seen that day had been seared into our memory. And we shouldn’t forget and we won’t forget, ever…


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