Remembering 9/11

I posted this last year on the Facebook page for this blog, and shared it here too. It will be on the Facebook page again, as my posts are automatically linked to there. No matter where we are from, it is impossible to comprehend the awfulness of that day, a day which has shaped so much of what has happened since then.

Today is the 19th anniversary of 9/11. Like most, I guess, I can remember exactly where I was on that fateful day, when so many innocent people were murdered and the world changed for ever. For us in the UK, this happened just before 2pm. The guy in the next office rushed in saying ‘you have to see this!’ We spent the next hour or so transfixed with horror at what was unfolding on his computer screen, watching the BBC live news. Work was forgotten for a time, and seemed so inconsequential by comparison.

To honour those who lost their lives, and all those whose heroic efforts helped so many others, I’m dedicating this song to them. An explanation of the song is on Songfacts, and I’m repeating it here as background:

“Grand Central Station is a train terminal in New York City, and a bustling hub of activity. It’s a majestic building where amid the din, travelers can find moments of reflection, as so many journeys started or ended there.

Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote the song after hearing an interview with an iron worker who was one of the first on the scene after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. The interview aired on a New York City radio station on the first anniversary of the attacks, and it brought Chapin Carpenter to tears. “Those first few days there at ground zero, he felt it was a very holy place,” she told NPR. “When his shifts were over, he felt this lifeforce was somehow asking for his help, and when he would leave his shift he figured, whoever wants to go, I’ll take him with me, and he’d find himself just going to Grand Central Station, standing on the platform, and figuring whoever wanted to go home could just catch the train home.”

Chapin Carpenter immediately started writing the song, and had it finished three days later.”

Whatever you are doing today, I hope you can find four minutes to watch this video. The song is beautiful, and some of the images are almost impossibly heartbreaking.

Today is a day for reflection. A day to put aside differences. A day to shed a tear for humanity.

26 thoughts on “Remembering 9/11

  1. 3sistersabroad September 14, 2020 / 9:52 pm

    A day that no-one should forget. I was in Brisbane having moved there from Melbourne in the August. I woke up and started changing channels and saw the towers on TV. I kept changing channels…half awake…fell back asleep. then when I awoke properly realized it wasnt a dream. I thought it was a movie at the time. We were in shock. Fast forward 3 weeks, I had started work with an insurance company. In training and the usual “a bit about me” was being done. Sean stood up and began to speak. “My brother and his partner were in the towers when the plane hit it. A few months later he was at his desk crying. He had just found out they found his brothers ring. Whenever I hear about the towers I always go back to the time when Sean told us. Im no longer in Brisbane, back in Melbourne and have lost contact with Sean. I hope he is doing ok. So many lives lost. #SeniSal

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 14, 2020 / 11:44 pm

      Some very poignant memories for you, of a terrible day. Many thanks for reading and commenting. I also hope that Sean is doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Crystal September 14, 2020 / 4:05 pm

    What a nice remembrance post. I enjoyed reading it.
    Let me introduce myself. My nae is Crystal and I come to your blog via Esme’s Senior Salon Blog.
    Hope you visit my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 14, 2020 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you, glad you liked it. I’ll visit your blog too – I usually take a tour through the Senior Salon later in the week, once everyone has shared their posts 😉

      Like

  3. Astrid September 14, 2020 / 3:32 pm

    Wow, thanks for the post! I also remember exactly where I was when this happened. I live in the Netherlands, so it was shortly before 3PM here when the first plane flew into the World Trade Center. This event definitely changed the world forever. #senisal

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 14, 2020 / 3:43 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Sadly, I think it is one of those events that we will all remember for where we were, and for its consequences. A bit like the assassination of JFK for those, like me, who were old enough to know it was important.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Astrid September 14, 2020 / 6:44 pm

        Oh yes, so true. I wasn’t born yet when JFK was killed, so for me 9/11 is perhaps the only such event. I mean, I was three when the Berlin wall fell, but not old enough to realize its significance.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive September 14, 2020 / 7:20 pm

        I was 10 when JFK was killed. I have a vivid memory of coming home from school to find Mum sitting in front of the tv, crying. She explained why, and I began to understand. I cried myself when the Berlin Wall fell – a hugely symbolic moment, and I had to explain it to my then three year old daughter in a way she could grasp. Like you, I don’t think she realised what it meant until much later.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. robertawrites235681907 September 12, 2020 / 11:19 am

    This really is a lovely song, Clive. I hadn’t heard it before. I also saw this in the office during the afternoon. It was a like a dream at the time – very surreal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 12, 2020 / 11:29 am

      Isn’t it just – and so typical of the love she puts into her songs.

      It did seem like a disaster movie rather than reality. Sadly, it was all too real.

      Like

  5. petespringerauthor September 12, 2020 / 6:29 am

    A day we will never forget and remember forever. I was getting ready to go to work when these awful images began coming across the screen. It was a rare day when I went to work feeling upset before the day started. I wanted to protect and make the students in my class feel safe because I knew many of them would see what I saw. The parents dropping their kids off were upset and struggling, not knowing what to do. It was a hard day all around.

    I love the song, and the accompanying video is fantastic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Clive September 12, 2020 / 10:35 am

      It was a terrible day, and we never could or should forget. People from many nationalities were killed, and terrorism of this kind is, sadly, still with us.

      I think the song is beautiful, like just about everything MCC does, and that video acts as a powerful reminder, doesn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • robertawrites235681907 September 12, 2020 / 11:21 am

      We had just returned from our honeymoon to Italy when this incident happened, Pete. We had been on a tour with a number of other people in their late twenties. A number of them were from the USA and some worked in New York and Washington. I remember sending them all emails to see how they were managing. A very weird time for the world. I also remember our currency (the ZAR) crashing as the news impacted on developing countries.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Jim Borden September 12, 2020 / 4:34 am

    what a sad day, but a beautiful song by Mary. I also think of Springsteen’s The Rising album when I think back to those days…

    how lucky we have been in the U.S. that there has not been a similar attack since 9/11…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 12, 2020 / 10:31 am

      I also think of that album, as it was also a response to the events of that day.

      There have been many smaller attacks, both there and around the world: here, France and Belgium come quickly to mind. But, as you say, luck – or our security services – has kept us free of anything on this scale. The war is ongoing, though…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden September 12, 2020 / 5:37 pm

        your last sentence reminds me of the song: “This Is the Song That Never Ends…”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive September 12, 2020 / 5:58 pm

        I had to Google that, never heard of it before. Someone has done a 10 hour version of it that’s on YouTube!

        I can see your point – wars are always with us, somewhere in the world, and this one will run and run, sadly.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden September 12, 2020 / 7:09 pm

        I just looked at that 10 hour version – it has over 3 million views! I just don’t get people sometimes…

        yes, sad that wars just go on and on…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive September 12, 2020 / 7:14 pm

        I saw that too – and you and I have just added two to the total. Three million curious people, no doubt. I endured about thirty seconds and haven’t saved it to watch later 😂

        ‘‘Twas ever thus, and will be…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden September 12, 2020 / 9:15 pm

        I scrolled through it to see what it was, and it looks like the same material just looped over and over again.. I feel no need to watch it again either…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive September 12, 2020 / 9:17 pm

        I guessed that’s what it would be. Thirty seconds was about twenty nine seconds too long…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden September 12, 2020 / 9:22 pm

        agreed…

        I’ve shared some great music with you this week. First Bobby Sherman, and now Lamb Chop… you can thank me later…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive September 12, 2020 / 9:58 pm

        I don’t know what I’d do without you 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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