Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering September 11th 2001.

I was in the final week of working for Demon Internet. There was a mail on our internal discussion list, noise, which said something along the lines of "A plane has crashed into the WTC". Most people initially thought it was one of those small planes that fly tourists around lower Manhattan. Then we watched the news coverage.

We were stood in the 7th floor lunch room watching the events unfold on the television, while others sat at their desks watching the news feeds via the internet and our New York office. Then the first tower collapsed and took out the feeds as the New York Net Exchange was built in the WTC basement: "Safest place in New York".

Then the coverage on the TV changes to some other town. I asked "is that Paris?" and Clive Feather replies, "no, trust me, that's Washington".

I've just watched CNN's re-run of their coverage that day, and it is quite startling. They're busy interviewing a guy about the first plane hit when the second plane hits the other tower. Unbelievably, neither the reporter or his eyewitness sees the plane. Another reporter says he's seen a "propeller driven plane" hit, then they realise the awful truth - these are passenger planes. Until 9.20am (ET) CNN are still questioning whether the planes have had a navigational malfunction. Then AP reports plane hi-jacking. You know the rest.

My main memory of that day was a BBC reporter who asked someone in New York whether that city having a terrorist attack would make the citizens less likely to fund the terrorist activities of the IRA. Which, given that the US were still in shock about the fact that terrorism was the actual cause of what they were witnessing (okay, some would say their foreign policy was the *actual* cause) is quite a stunning question.


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