Remembering 20 years later – the day that changed the world

Today, September 11th, will forever be marked in the annals of time and the memories of many.

It is the 20th anniversary of the horrendous terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.

It was September 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m. It was a clear Tuesday morning when an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City followed by another in the second tower and then a third into the Pentagon.

Nineteen al-Qaeda suicide militants targeted the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon with the result that almost 3,000 died, including many Canadians.  Both World Trade Centre towers entirely collapsed in 102 minutes and the results were felt around the world, including Canada.

I was on the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto at the time and took the first ramp to pull off and over to listen to the reports that kept coming over CBC radio.  I sat in stunned silence as I know many did.  No-one knew what ‘terrorist attack’ meant.  We heard that all air space had been closed and airports were immediately shut down.

It’s strange how one reacts in a time of the unknown.  As the reports kept coming in, all I could think about was getting back to my family in Southampton.  Three hours later when arrived, I burst into tears and fiercely hugged my grandchildren not wanting to let them go.  Of course, at seven and eight, they wondered what the heck was wrong with Nanny.

Twenty years later, that day is as vivid as it was then.  I realize that it is only a small story in the midst of what took place that fateful day but it is a day that will forever remain in my memory.

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on that dreaded September 11th?