11th September 2001 - I was working at Library Headquarters that day in the Local Studies Room when my daughter phoned to tell me that a plane had crashed into the twin towers in New York. I had visited the city many many years ago, long before the twin towers were built and I was a bit hazy about them, but my first reaction was "what an appalling accident".
I told colleagues and we logged onto the BBC website and saw the dreadful news of the second strike. There was an American visitor in the Study Room and we broke the news to him - he immediately went outside to phone friends and family. We then dashed to the Training Room where there was a television. Two work colleages had daughters holidaying in New York and had the agonizing wait of days, with communications down, to hear that they were safe.
Words cannot describe the horror. What struck in my mind most was the experience of those on the planes who had left Boston, to discover they were flying to their death - yet whose thoughts were to phone family expressing their love.
|Celtic Cross on Iona |
looking over to the Isle of Mull