Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11

Like most people, I’ve been remembering this day ten years ago. My memories of that day are in no way important or significant to anyone but me, but I’m compelled to put them down...


I was home in London getting ready to go to work at a studio that afternoon, when the news flashed up on TV that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. 

The news was shocking, but I left my husband watching unfolding events while I went to work – ironically, for a company that produces in-flight content for the airlines.

I arrived at the studio to find lots of people clustered around a tiny, retro-style TV. The first tower had just fallen. I have seen that particular bit of film over and over, and am used to it now, but at the time it was shocking beyond belief. 

Maybe it’s because I’m American, but my colleagues made way for me and let me get closer to the screen. I don’t quite remember the order in which things happened, but I do remember the great kindness they showed me – when we heard that a plane had come down in Pittsburgh, my home town, they hugged and patted me and immediately provided a phone so that I could call my family and make sure everyone was okay. 

I think it was then that we saw the second tower fall. There was stunned silence after that. Eventually someone said, in a small voice, that maybe we should get on with our work.

Suddenly our light-hearted little in-flight entertainment program felt weighted with emotion. It seems a bit silly now, but at the time I thought, ‘What if my voice is the last thing someone hears?’ It seemed terribly important to inject as much warmth and life into it as I could. I’m embarrassed to admit that now - but all of us in the studio that day felt a special kind of connection with those who died on the planes.

As I walked home from the studio, thinking about things, my observations were: 1. that the kindness of others means everything, 2. that it’s important to carry on no matter what and 3. that a job isn’t just a job – it can be infused with meaning. 

As I said at the start of this post, these are just impressions of my tiny, insignificant corner of an immense tragedy. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones on that day. I can only imagine what they’ve suffered these past ten years. They are in my thoughts and prayers – especially today.

3 comments:

  1. Dear Lorelei,

    Thank you for taking the time to share that. It was good to read. For what it is worth, I don't think that your thought regarding being the last voice someone hears a silly one at all. If anything, circumstances show that it could be the case.

    In fact, I shouldn't wonder if having a particular - if unquantifiable - connection to the viewer/reader isn't the special gift of actors/actresses. Through the story that you are acting, you may penetrate peoples lives far more deeply than nearly any other profession I can think of!

    Oh dear. That's putting a bit of pressure on your next performance, isn't it! Sorry! I will add that the magic of story is such that even if the actor is off key it may still cover for them by virtue of its own strength.

    Anyway, they are just my thoughts. Thank you again for your post!

    Malcolm

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  2. Thanks for sharing this. I was in NY on a business trip, about 50 miles NW of the city. I had to drive my rental car back home on 9/12, as I was 1000 miles away from home and had no idea as to if this was a single shot or a prolonged attack. I was inconvenienced, but nothing more. The details are on my site. Susan (aka AudiobookDJ, my wife) and I appreciate your thoughts.

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  3. Hello AOS Malcolm and Rockinbear - thank you so much for your comments. Malcolm, thank you - I don't feel quite so silly now. :o) And Rockinbear, thanks for sharing your personal experience - I can only imagine how unsettling that was.

    The anniversary celebrations were so moving; I hope you both got to see some of it.

    x

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