My dad has always said, you will always remember where you were when you hear big, or shocking news. He was in a Saturday matinee with his brother, watching a western no doubt, when he found out JFK had been assassinated. He had came out of the cinema and saw it on a newspaper billboard. News travelled slower in those days.
When Princess Diana died, I was still in bed. It was a Sunday morning, and my sister was shouting that something must have happened, because she couldn't get any radio stations, they were all silent. And then we saw it on the news.
When the Dunblane massacre happened, I was in 1st year at high school. I was in 2nd or 3rd period maths, when I had to leave half way through for a music lesson. Our school was split site, so I had a 5 minute walk between buildings. When I got to my music lesson, my brass tutor told me he'd heard on the radio that there had been a shooting at a primary school, and that it was pretty bad. We didn't know exactly how bad until later, but there was a horrible atmosphere in school that day.
And I think everyone who's old enough remembers where they were on 9/11. I was working holiday cover on reception at a doctors surgery. It had been a quiet day. Late afternoon the phone rang, and it was one of the receptionists sisters, phoning from New York, to say she was ok and not to worry. It was a short phone call, and we hadn't heard what had happened by this point, so we were wondering why she would randomly call. She was a nurse in the Beth Israel Hospital in lower Manhattan. It wasn't until someone came to the desk and told us to turn on the radio, something terrible had happened in New York.
It was a weird day after that. Some girls went home early. I was walking to the bus stop on the way home, and it was just eerie. Streets were silent. People were looking up, suspicious of planes in the sky. The bus was quiet, with people listening to radios. And it wasn't until I got home, and saw the awful pictures on the news, that the enormity of it sunk in.
I didn't know anyone directly affected by the tragedy. But it still feels personal. I think it's a little personal to everyone who remembers it.
Where were you on 9/11?