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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Remembering 9-11: Memories from Scotland.

 Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers has asked us to record our memories of 9/11. 

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
 A week later we were on holiday on the west coast of Scotland and took the ferry from Oban to sail to the Isle of Mull and then onto the Isle of Iona. It was the most perfect September day you could have asked for - sunny blue skies, a calm deep blue sea, a panorama of hills and the seals bobbing around the ferry.    The atmosphere was strangely quiet and subdued. There were many American tourists on the boat, and   people were going up to them to shake their hands and extend their sympathy.

Everyone talks abut the magical nature of Iona - the seat of Scottish Christianity where St. Columba founded his Abbey in 563AD. It is amazing that even though the boat seemed busy, visitors spread out on the small island and it seems as if you have the place to yourself.

 It was so peaceful - a beautiful haven in what suddenly seemed a very evil world. 

Adapted from from a posting on the 10th anniversary.
Island Photographs - Copyright Susan Donaldson, 2011


  1. Thanks for posting this Sue. It's interesting to hear what it was like for those not living in the USA that terrible day.

    I can't imagine how horrible it must have been for your work colleagues as they waited for news of their daughters' safety.

  2. I can imagine that Iona would have been a beautiful antidote to the horrors of the calamity. Hopefully it brought peace to the American visitors as well. I'd have been beside myself if I couldn't find my children in NYC.

  3. Sue, I just wanted to let you know this post was listed on today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2012/09/follow-fridayfab-finds-for-september-14.html


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