My name is Tom Russell. I am in the South of England UK. This is the first website I have written on since 9.11, because I was not directly affected by 9.11, which is the reason I have left it until now to express my thoughts. I am grateful to sites like this, where people can give their own thoughts, experiences, and emotions of that day.
Although I was here in the UK on 9.11, I felt like I was in NYC when everything was happening. I wanted to be there, I wanted to help rescue the people, or further prevent more loss, but I could not do anything.
The day of 9.11, I got home from college at around 2.15pm (9.15am NYC Time) my Dad had heard the news on the radio, so I turned on the TV. I could not look away from that point, and when the second plane hit, and ultimately the buildings then collapsed, I was totally in shocked. I felt a connection to everyone in those buildings, and to the families and friends, and I said a prayer for them.
I was a lifeguard at a big swimming pool in 2001. As it was September, and all the kids were back at school, it was very quiet at the pool. I had to work at 5pm (12pm NYC Time). When I arrived at work, no one knew what was happening. I was just told, ‘’Tom, you are due on poolside’’
Imagine this if you will. There I am, at 5pm, sat, overlooking a quiet bubbling swimming pool, totally peaceful and quiet. No one I worked with had even heard the news at this point, about what was happening in New York. Yet, I knew exactly what was happening right at that very time. The planes had hit, I seen most of it with my own eyes live on TV. And there I was, sat down, overlooking the pool, listening to water bubbling and splashing against the pool side, and the sound of a little girl splashing the water a little bit, whilst looking at her Dad. I could not believe it.
I wanted to be there, in NYC, helping! The thought of being where I was, yet so much was happening right at that time. It was unbelievable; I could not do anything but sit there, thinking. I could not get the thought out of my mind, of the people on those planes that had hit the buildings, and not only that, the fact that there were still possibly planes in the air.
It was around this time that the Pennsylvania crash was announced of United 93 Airlines, I heard this on the radio, as I was popping in and out my office in between my work tasks, trying to find out what was happening. My thoughts were with the people on United 93 completely, even though I was not there, or even sure what was actually happening, I could feel the fear of the situations that were happening. For every person I could imagine being involved in 9.11; I said a prayer for them.
Once I had told my colleagues what had happened, or what was ‘happening’ should I say, some understood, some did not.
9.11 still affects me to this day, I remember it like it was yesterday. Even though I am not from America, I am a human being, and I feel connected with everyone from that day, and pray for you all.
Peace love and remembrance, to all those of 9.11
Tom Russell (United Kingdom)