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Ten Years Ago Today: 9/11

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Most of the events that live in your memory are personal ones: weddings, births, getting fired because you knew the Serial Shooter [oh, wait - just me...]. But occasionally, there's something so momentous that you remember it, even though you weren't directly involved. Ten years ago today, the world irrevocably changed, with terrorism reaching new, previously unthinkable levels, in New York, Washington and over Pennsylvania. If you want to share your own memories, please do so, but on the anniversary of that fateful day, let's take a moment to remember the victims, both of that day and in the wars around the world which resulted.




Thank you.

We had had a film screening the previous night, and the director stayed at our house that night, before flying back to New York in the morning. He was up, packing his bags and watching TV, when the news broke. He told Mrs. SnakePit, who came back to our bedroom and put the television on there. At that point, it still seemed more like an accident, but when the second-plane hit, it became immediately clear what had happened. "I don't think I'll be going back today," said the director.

From then on, we pretty much were glued to the television as everything unfolded. They replayed the footage of the second plane hitting a million times, and I remember how totally unreal it looked: like a bad Hollywood effect, as the plane simply folded into the building. Then the towers came down, one after another, adding an even more terrible layer to the horror. There was a terrible sense of uncertainty too - how many more planes had been hijacked? And there was so much misinformation flying too.

In the evening, Mrs. SnakePit didn't feel like cooking, so we went out to dinner at the Streets of New York restaurant; I can't remember if this was a conscious choice, or just an eerie coincidence. But I do recall how completed deserted both the roads and the restaurant were; we were close to the only people there. Every TV was turned to the news there as well; it was a slow, unenthusiastic and pre-occupied meal.