I remember that day as if was just yesterday. I was trying to lull my three month old son to sleep when I saw the two planes crash into the Twin Towers. I was shaken to the core. The surreal images stuck in my mind. The devastation, damage and aftermath was worse. Almost three 3000 lives were taken, and twice as many hurt. The third plane crashed into the Pentagon. The fourth plane, before crashing into a field in Pennsylvania, had its own savagery as passengers attempted to thwart the hi-jackers plans. Al Quaeda’s leader , Osama Bin Laden was the man responsible for the worst attack in the world’s history. Panic was such that people trapped in the buildings, perished of smoke inhalation, fell and even jumped, Those who scrambled for the roof rescue were unable to do so as the roof access doors were locked. Even if they did get there, the raging fire and thick smoke prevented rescue.
All news channels were punctuated with reports of the attack and seemingly impossible rescue attempts.
The barbaric attacks were denounced. The US was offered moral, technical and military support in their darkest hours from leaders all around the world.
In the wake of all that horror, people around the world mourned and stood together in support. Church bells tolled in unison, Sobbing women and strangers held hands as they gathered together to light candles and pray. Firefighters tied black armbands to honour the victims and our South African schools held moments of silence. The human spirit was wounded but there was resilience despite the turmoil, hope. Hope that some person, some pet would be rescued from the mountain of debris.
They were all innocent people going about their daily lives, mostly breadwinners and parents just like us.
Today, on this 11th day of September, as on every September 11th, we remember with compassion and solidarity the events of that fateful day of September 11, 2001.