The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
10 years on.

Its hard not to think about the anniversary of September 11. Right now the news is full of recognised threats against New York and tragic reminders of how that day played out ten years ago. We all have our memories of how the terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center changed our worlds. My memories are vague, more emotional than circumstantial and sadly even those memories are clouded by the even more real to me London bomb attacks in 2005 which I was caught up in personally. 

The 11th of September 2001 was a normal work day for me, I had been working for a big investment bank in London for about a year, I was having the time of my life and was happier than I could remember being for a long time after a horrible drawn out break up with a long term boyfriend the year before.

At some point that day one of my colleagues sitting two rows behind me stood up and called out that a plane had landed on the world trade center. None of us could understand what he meant, a small airplane had landed on the roof? Then the news started to come through, a plane had crashed into the tower, a big plane. The rest of that day is mostly a blur for me now. We were evacuated out of our tall building into the basement until we were released onto the streets, to make our way home in disbelief. I met a friend in a bar on Upper St in Islington and every tv in every restaurant/bar up the road had the news on. People sitting quietly, drinking, not talking, just watching.

It felt unreal, unimaginable, inconceivable but it didn’t really affect me directly. I wasn’t afraid to get onto a tube, I didn’t worry about a plane crashing into my building. I continued my life in the same way I had before, albeit with added empathy for those sad, sad stories that had played out on tv in the weeks after the tragedy. Until four years later when a travel anomoly put me into the path of a group of crazed terrorists intent on blowing up the London underground, but that is another story for another day.

A year after the attacks on the World Trade Center, my story took a different turn as I found myself witness to a private grief that made the terror attacks very real again when before they had been something I had seen on tv or read about in newspapers.

I started working for brokerage firm Cant0r Fitzg3rald at the beginning of September 2002. A week before the anniversary of the terror attacks in New York where the firm lost 658 of their employees, everyone who was in the office spread over floors 101 to 105 of Tower One that morning. Just a few days after meeting my new colleagues I stood with them on the trading floor downstairs as they honoured the memory of their fallen friends in NY a year before. It was a desperately sad day where people shared their personal grief in a very private way. After the tragedy the London office had rallied with what was left of the New York firm and worked round the clock to keep the company alive and to make a profit so they could give back to the families of their colleagues who had been killed. I felt privileged to be a part of something so much bigger than myself.

So much has happened since September 11 2001, not just in world politics with the war in Iraq and the death of 0sama but in my own world. I left behind my finance career to become a Mum and then left behind my life in London to move to Australia and live in our little house in the suburbs. Thankfully once again the fear and threat of terrorism feels further away than ever yet poignantly matters more to me now as a parent. Today I have been enjoying the beauty in our ripening garden and holding my girls just that little bit closer, in memory of all those people who lost their lives ten years ago.

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