GROUND ZERO (added 4.07.10)
Last week I visited Ground Zero and as I walked around the vast gaping expanse that once was the Twin Towers, my mind struggled to comprehend the enormity of not only the space but the situation.
I, like the rest of the world stood and watched the events of September 2001 unfold in utter disbelief and horror. Returning to the spot, ten years after the event, when my last visit to that area was exactly a week before that tragic day was a haunting experience.
On the 11th of September 2001, I was in London, and as I mentioned earlier, I had just spent some time in New York, visiting all the usual tourist sites, including the Twin Towers. The day of the attacks, I walked out of Boots Chemist in Leicester Square after picking up my photos of New York, as I stood there admiring my photos of the twin towers, I glanced up an became horribly aware that before me was a sea of people with shocked faces, gazing up at the huge Sanyo tv, watching the events unfold.
I remember vividly how I felt at that moment, the eery silence in the middle of the crowded London streets, and the confusion when the first plane hit, thinking that surely it must be a horrible accident which led to my extreme shock when the second building went down and it was clearly not an accident.
I remember the temperature in the air that day, and the feeling that I wanted to be close to loved ones, I called my friends and family to let them know I was ok and to tell them that I loved them, and I remember thinking how silly it is that some people (myself excluded) only share these feelings after a horrible event in their lives. Why don’t we tell people how we feel more often, and why are these so often the things that people most frequently regret.
As I walked around the site and nearby streets last week, I tried to imagine the terror experienced on that day, the shock that would be felt watching from a nearby building, the panicked people spilling out into the streets and the dust crowding an unimaginable scene.
Yet in such a horrible event it always amazes me the stories that emerge, the tales of heroism and bravery, and human acts of kindness in a world of madness and cruelty like no other.
The site still has many visitors, people still look on in awe yet now for different reasons and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy.