Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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Where were you when...

They say that people always remember where they were when they heard Kennedy was assassinated. The thought of there being an event so crucial to the world that everyone remembers where they were when it takes place is a powerful one. It's not on the same scale, but I remember being at a small party in the room next door at university when we all heard about the Conservatives' election collapse in '97.

I remember coming down to watch some late night TV when I found out that Princess Diana had been in a serious accident which would turn out to be fatal. (Indeed, I suspect that the technique of "Where were you when you found out..." is much less powerful than it used to be, because so many people find out major news events from instant newsflash TV coverage these days and will continue to do so in the future.) On a happier note, I remember watching England beat Germany 5-1 on TV in the qualifying round of the World Cup very clearly.

I was sat in this chair one year ago, to the minute, on the phone with a non-Journalist friend. It had been his birthday recently and he was telling me about a very entertaining day he had enjoyed (not actually his birthday, but fairly lavish corporate entertainment in regard to a deal he had signed). It was a wonderful, fun call. Then I started my TV application on Windows and saw the newsflash coverage. BBC's practice of putting text graphics on screen to convey the breaking news in an instant was a useful jolt. I turned the TV on between the time the second 'plane had hit and the time when the buildings collapsed.

We then continued to chat on the phone for the next hour or two, but the tone became far more sombre, with discussions of the other planes that had been reported as having been hijacked. Indeed, at the time I think there were rumours of something like five or eight other planes which had also been hijacked, but thankfully these proved to only be rumours. The jolt from a happy, optimistic call to a sombre, realistic one will live with me forever. I feel very fortunate that I had got to visit the World Trade Centre in the autumn of 2000; looking through the photos (which I can share, but they're nothing special) really brings it home.

I'm trying to think about forgiveness, but I'll never forget.

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