Where Were You on September 11th?


As pretty much everyone is aware (and the media has been reminding us), today is the anniversary of the World Trade Centre attacks in New York City.  20130911-192331.jpg

Yeah, it’s been 12 years since 9-11.

Admittedly, I personally didn’t know anyone that was directly affected by the attacks, nor was anyone close to me at the time (that I’m aware of).  However I think, regardless if you knew someone who was there or was personally affected, this day affected everyone in some way.  Even if it was in just an eye-opener to the world.

This was one of those events where everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when they found out about it.  I was living in Montreal when the attacks occurred, and to be honest I was completely oblivious of everything happening until about midday.  My story from that day isn’t that exciting or profound, but will always stick with me.

At the time I was working evenings up near Mont-Royal, so I’d slept in to at least mid-morning as usual.  For whatever reason I’d decided to do some window shopping up on the Plateau and didn’t even so much as turn on the tv or a radio before I left the house.

In fact in those days I don’t think I even had a mobile, and barely used the house phone.  Oh and I didn’t even have access to a computer let alone internet, just like a lot of people I knew in those days.  Amazing how things change in just over a decade..

pl5Anyway, it was a nice day so I decided to walk up to Rue Mont-Royal to the shops via Rue St Denis.  Just after I’d passed through Parc La Fontaine, some guy I didn’t know came up to me shouting ‘It’s the end of the world!! We’re being attacked!!’ and then off he ran up the street.

Admittedly I just thought he was some nutter or was already drunk, so off I went on my merry way thinking he was mad.

I definitely got a huge wake up call in the first shop I went into and overheard a couple of people talking about something to do with planes attacking.. Ummmm, what?  Maybe that guy on the street wasn’t such a nutter after all.

First chance I got I went into an electronics shop to see if I could catch the news on the tv.  And I stood there watching, with about half a dozen others, with my jaw on the ground.  What an absolute shock to say the least!

On all the tv’s, they kept showing the footage of the planes attacking the Twin Towers over and over again, and playing commentary from people who were there at the time.  It was scary to realise this was actually truly honestly real, and not some bad dream or cheesy Hollywood movie.

After a couple hours of wandering the shops, watching the news or listening to the radio where I could, I headed home to get ready for work.  In the end I think I only bought a sweater (though I can’t remember what exactly I was shopping for to begin with..), and even that I almost didn’t buy.

When I got to work that evening, they advised we would be closed for the night since we called American customers (I think… it has been 12 years lol), and everyone higher up agreed it wouldn’t be appropriate to call people after such a devastating event like this.  In fact, I don’t think we were open the following day either, but I could be wrong.nyc_002

So.. what’s the point of my recounting this?  I don’t know to be honest, as the only effect it had on me was probably the loss of a day or two’s pay. Maybe it’s to show that even those people who weren’t there or didn’t have people close to them affected by these attacks could get their eyes opened to the world around them, and how events can have a ripple effect.

Maybe it’s to put into perspective that, when events like this happen in the world, a simple mundane afternoon of shopping is truly meaningless when compared to what those people’s families had to go through.

All I do know is 9-11 opened a lot of people’s eyes to the world around them and outside their own borders (myself included), some for better and probably some for worse.  But maybe the point is regardless of how things are going in your life and how frustrated you may be feeling with things, perhaps just give a little thought of those who’ve lost their loved ones thanks to an attack such as this.

So where were you on 9-11, and how did the day affect you?