September 11 Digital Archive

lc_story206.xml

Title

lc_story206.xml

Source

born-digital

Media Type

story

Created by Author

yes

Described by Author

no

Date Entered

2004-01-06

LC Story: Story

On September 11, 2001 I was on holiday in Scotland with my Mother. I'd taken her there for her 75th birthday and it was only her second trip out of the USA. After a day of shopping we jumped into a taxi for a ride to our hotel. The taxi driver recognized our accents and asked if we'd heard the news. He told us that a plane had flown into one of the WTC towers and we were both shocked. By the time we got back to our room the second plane had struck and we watched on CNN as the towers collapsed.

We cried and cried. We couldn't call home because the circuits were busy and we couldn't fly home because all flights were grounded.

That night we needed to pray so we walked to a local Episcopal cathedral. The church doors were closed and two people stood on the steps talking. One of them asked us if we needed to pray and then led us to the back of the church, opened a tiny door and allowed us inside. She took us to the altar, gave us a candle and told us to stay and pray as long as we wished. May God bless her.

The next day we took a train to London. One afternoon we walked along Charing Cross looking through book stores when I stopped in front of a Muslim book store. Inside a man and woman sat at a desk. I stood outside and went through a storm of emotions. I wanted to go inside and pray with the man and woman, pray for understanding and peace. I also wanted to go in and attack them, blaming them, in my ignorance, for the attack. Loving and hating, I was there for 5 minutes before I noticed they had become uncomfortable under my gaze and I walked on.

The world reached out to us. In the Underground an English woman stopped my mother and hugged her, they cried together.

During a church service the priest wore a T-Shirt with the American flag on it.

We stood outside Westminster Abbey during 4 minutes of silence when the whole city came to a halt, even the trains stopped in the Underground. The only sound was of quiet sobs.

LC Story: Memory

Standing on a side street holding my 75 year-old mother as she sobbed at the horrible news.

LC Story: Affects

The world is different now. I can never see it the same again. I'll not ever feel that happy-go-lucky feeling I had before the attack. I hate the way that my country responded with bombs, but I do believe that time will judge our actions to be understandable if not justified.

Since the attack I have read the Torah, the New Testament and the Holy Qur'an. I've conversed extensively with Muslims and I now understand that the people who attacked the US are no more Muslim than Timothy McVeigh was Christian. Islam is a beautiful religion.

As for America, I believe our response has alienated us in the world community. The world was with us for the first few weeks after the attack. But our President Bush was brash and ignorant in his remarks. He immediately angered the world and continued, over time, to turn sentiment against us and it will take decades to repair the damage caused by his ignorance.

Citation

“lc_story206.xml,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed January 18, 2018, http://911digitalarchive.org/items/show/98.