20 years ago today, I was in the process of trying to begin a new life for myself.
I was 16, and had just started college the week before. Secondary school had been extremely tough for me, and I was determined to put the past behind me and try and start afresh. I was looking forward to what was ahead.
Anyway, that Tuesday afternoon, I was in an English class. I only really knew one person in that class at the time, and was still a bit nervous about meeting people. The class ended, and as it was my last lesson of the day, I headed for home. On the bus home, I checked my phone to see the latest news headlines, and the first headline that popped up was about an explosion in New York. I told people about it on the bus, and most people ignored me (as they did back then)… suddenly my phone rang. It was my 11 year old brother. He’d got home from school about an hour before I did, and he was saying to me “we’re at war, we’re at war”. I had no idea what he was talking about.
I got home, and was absolutely gobsmacked by what I was seeing. Two planes had hit the World Trade Centre, a plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and there were other smaller attacks. I stayed glued to the television screen for the rest of the evening. At this point in time, my interest in television presentation had started to grow, so I spent the evening flicking through the five channels available to me at the time to see how each one was covering this story. I had planned to go out and play snooker that evening, but after seeing the news, I just didn’t feel like it.
The next day in college, everyone was walking around in hushed tones. In my English class the next morning, we were all talking about it. People who hadn’t spoken to me yet, were talking about it with me, and sharing their feelings about it. It was a difficult time, yet I was making new friends in the process, several of which I’ve kept in touch with through Facebook.
I will never, ever, ever forget that day for as long as I live.