My blog

21 Years On

Twenty One Years On

My blog

It’s not often you see 2606 people die! Not something one forgets - or forgives - despite all these years of trying to rationalise it all - every way one can!

I arrived , from London, in New York on the evening of Monday 10th September 2001 and checked into the Marriot between the Twin Towers. I was trying to do a job I couldn’t do but which my ego wouldn’t let me walk away from. It was just another week of crap! And ironies of Ironies I’m pretty sure I was in Room 912.

I woke up up early on the Tuesday (and it was a beautiful New York crystal clear day) , went into the office and had a meeting about something meaningless at 9am. There was a TV in the office and I remember the first plane coming in. It’s on TV right! It’s an accident!

I had to get back to our other office (for another meeting!!) which was on Broadway and left the main office to walk there (nuts I know but that’s how surreal the whole thing was) and as I got outside we saw the second aircraft come up the Hudson and hit the other tower. The two senses that films of that time never get across are the sound and the heat.

My abiding memories of that moment are:

I got half way back to the other office (by the baseball grounds in Battery Park) and spoke to my Mum (who said “you sound quite stressed”). Thank God mobile phones by then could dial the UK. Just as I finished talking to her these small balls of fire started tumbling out of one of the towers - People! Real, Terrified, Agonised People.

So still in a state of denial I kept on going back to the other office and got within 100 yards of the front door (212 Broadway) and which time the the NYPD were yelling - please do not use your phones - you are jamming everything …

And then the top 40 stories of the first tower kinked. The weirdest thing you have ever seen. The top of one of the tallest buildings in the world (i’ve been up there, I’ve had in a drink in the bar up there) just shifted sideways and then the whole thing just collapsed - at which point we all started running - and kept running!


I got home in the end but nothing was ever the same. Some amazing people looked after me (thank you Steve Steck, wherever you are) and the British High Commission were just awesome (which football team do you support?) but thats all another story.

The question I keep coming back to is “what did it all achieve?”

And all I keep coming back to is - even more people died - somewhere else … So as brave as those young men were (and they were brave - they were prepared to die for something they believed in) I cannot forgive them for their naivety caused so much more death and pain - not just on the day but in the years to follow! Do I hate them - No. Can I forgive them - No!

Double Epilogue

Five years later - I got a call from American Express. NYPD had requested my details .. They had found my bag from the hotel room. A bit flatter and very dusty. I went to NYPD headquarters to pick it up and still have it. I will never ever let it go.

View original

#911 #september11 #work