Nine eleven is one of those dates that makes you remember your exact whereabouts on the day. It ranks with the assassination of Kennedy, the death's of Elvis and John Smith, when listening to the news was of paramount importance.
I remember exactly where I was when the first news came on the radio about the bombing of the twin towers. I was sitting on the King Harry Ferry on my way to visit an old man in hospital. By the time I got off the ferry I had realised that something of earth shattering importance was happening.
When I got to Treliske I found the old man in a ward of only about 15 people, all waiting for the results of tests, apart from two who were under going chemo...the ward was quiet and still when one of the nurses appeared and turned the TV on.
My patient groaned and asked for it to be turned off but the nurse sat down to watch as pictures of the planes approaching New York were shown. The room was riveted...they all watched, including the men on chemo. More nurses arrived, then doctors...eventually all the beds in the small ward were being used as chairs...it was not good hospital practice but no one was bothering as the full story emerged in all its horrifying detail. We all watched as the twin towers burned, the windows blowing out, the people screaming. I started to pray and others of similar ilk joined in.
My visit to Treliske was prolonged that day. Somehow it seemed to be very important to be with other people. After a couple of hours commentators were already speaking of a Muslim plot...Bin Laden was mentioned...it was horrifying stuff but also totally absorbing.
I got home very late and watched the TV till the early hours . It was already obvious that none of our lives would ever be the same again. And so it has proved. Lord have mercy!