Wow, eleven years. It was already 5pm in America by the time I found out, since it all happened while I was asleep. I woke up at 7:10am on September 12th here in Australia, just like I did on any day and I walked out of my room into the hall and saw my mother in the living room watching TV. This was unlike her, usually she would wake me up at 7am on the dot and be frantically rushing around to get us ready for school, but she was just standing there mesmerised by what happened.
I was 10 years old at the time... that's weird to think about too. I'd never even heard of the World Trade Center or the Twin Towers or anything like that before that day. I'd probably seen them in the skyline on wide shots of New York City in the rom-com movie I watched, but I'd never really given them much thought. Mum kept my sister and I both home from school that day, partly so we could watch history unfold and partly because everything was uncertain and she was scared to let us leave the house. If people in Australia were being kept home out of fear, I can't imagine what it must have been like not only in New York, but all across America.
There was glare on the TV so we closed the blinds and were watching it in silence then all of a sudden we heard this horrible loud engine noise. Mum jumped up immediately and looked out the window expecting to see a plane flying at our house or something (lmao, they bomb the World Trade Center and my house) but it was just the garbage truck. It was a Tuesday I think; the garbage man always comes on Tuesday.
For weeks afterward, I was getting updates every day when Mum picked me up from school. I remember one time she told me about another building collapsing in a delayed reaction from the aftershock. Then there were the conspiracy theories and people coming out of the woodwork with prophecies they'd apparently written which would foresaw the event happening. I remember the phrase "two brothers will fall" from one of the TV shows talking about that. There was even one conspiracy involving the Wingdings font - something about how if you spelled out the date in Wingdings it illustrated what happened? (I just tried it out then but that didn't work... though I swear when I tried it at the time it worked perfectly and freaked me out) I don't remember all the details anymore, and I'm kind of glad I don't.
I also remember them getting all the classes together at school and telling us that we all had no reason to be afraid and explaining to us that Australia was in no danger. I don't even know if they knew that for sure at the time, but they seemed pretty convinced so it put my mind at ease...
I think that's all I remember. The TV coverage went on for weeks, basically livestreaming Ground Zero and the recovery effort. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and walking out to find my parents watching it. It's weird to think about now.
Anyway, I'll never forget. They said we'd never forget where we were when we heard the news (kind of like with Princess Diana) and I scoffed at the time but they were right. To everybody who died in the attacks, rest in peace.