When the first tower fell, I heard the rumble a long time before I saw anything. I thought that it was another plane, and I remember screaming and ducking and waiting for the inevitable crunching sound…
SINCE 9/11 were honoured to have been contacted a couple of months ago by a British 9/11 survivor, Janice Brooks. She shared with us her moving story of what unfolded on that tragic, terrible day.
Janice’s story brings to reality the events of what remains the worst terrorist attack in recent history, not only for people who only remember it as a breaking news headline on their televisions, but for future generations too, who will only read of it in their history textbooks.
Her powerful experience filled with loss, with confusion, with bravery and unity, reminds us why we must all promote respect, peace and tolerance so that never will we see a repeat of the events of September 11th 2001.
On the 16th anniversary of the attacks, we once again remember the victims and their families, and the heroes of that day; not only the policeman, firefighters and emergency services, but of the unsung heroes too:
Bob Mahon from Euro Brokers, who Janice tells us directed her and others out of the Trade Centre and walked her home to Battery Park.
The ‘booming voice man’ who helped Janice get to her friend’s house.
The people just like us, who lived that day, and will continue to carry it with them in a way (fortunately) many of us never will;
‘Coughing lady’ who was behind Janice on the 84 flights of stairs down to the first floor.
‘Lady with the cut arm’ who worried that she wouldn't be able to help her husband move house that Friday.
All the normal people, with normal lives, wanting to go home to their loved ones that evening like any other normal day. To the people that never did, and to the people, like Janice who that night remember looking in the mirror “knowing that my life would never be the same again”.
We applaud Janice’s own bravery and compassion, as she selflessly went to give comfort and support to others the very next day -
“I arrived at the help desk at 11.30am, and did not leave until 2.30pm the following day, and the telephones were ringing all night. The calls were heartbreaking. Desperate voices, all hoping for some good news…and in so many cases, we had nothing to say…”
Let her story be one that allows us to look to the future with hope, to serve as a reminder that we as humans come together in times of adversity. We help strangers and comfort the scared, and though there are those who wish to wreak havoc into our lives, we look to go ahead focusing on the shared values that unite us.
To read Janice’s full story please click here.