Friday, September 11, 2009
9/11...2001,..a day that shook the world and my kitchen!
Photo: Scanned picture of my original ST newspaper front page
Wednesday 12 Sept 2001.
It was a Tuesday, that unforgettable day in September 2001. Everything was normal in Singapore, then under Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. My wife D2 and I had gone to work that day and had returned to a hopefully peaceful night of relaxing before the Goggle box, post dinner. Our eldest daughter D3 and hubby Les were new parents of a baby boy...my eldest grandson , only 3 month plus back then. They were living separately from us in their own home.
There was only D2, me and my faithful dog D.
We settled down comfortably before the TV set to catch the evening's late news.
Unknown to us or anyone around the world, right about that time, 2 planes have been hijacked in USA and were heading directly for the World Trade Centre Twin Towers in New York city. The planes were about 15 minutes apart.
Then it happened.
And from that moment the world changed forever and has never been the same again.
The first plane hit the WTC just after 9 am ( New York time )when the buildings were filled with people at work.
The next followed soon after.
Suddenly....on our TV, CNN and later the BBC, were bringing us "LIVE" coverage of the dastardly and most evil attack one can ever imagine. We were glued to the TV as we watched the 2nd plane slammed into the Twin Towers. This was happening in real time. Everything from that moment was shown in "real time"...including the people jumping out from the windows of the burning 110 storey Twin Towers, the attack on the Pentagon by a third plane and the eventual collapse of the Towers.
My wife and I sat transfixed, overcome by the sheer horror that was before our very eyes.
I remember she was very, very agitated and angry that the terrorists could carry out such attacks without remorse and conscience.
We were at a loss of words to describe the carnage we were witnessing.
We had visited New York and lower Manhattan in Dec 1992 with our daughter D4. Went all the way up to the Empire State Building and from there had a good panoramic view of New York skyline,
the WTC included.
New York was a memorable visit. We made a few side trips to some 'must see' places...Statue of Liberty, Sing Sing prison, Macy Dept Store, New York underground.
We then heard a fourth plane had crashed near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This plane was heading for either the White House or Capitol Hill.
Our eyes continued to be glued to the unnerving images of the burning Twin Towers. It was even scarier to actually be able to see desperate people waving frantically for help in the upper floors while the fire was below them. Then many started jumping out to certain death. It was better than being burnt alive.
I gritted my teeth and kept opening and closing my fists and knuckles, wishing there was something I could do to alter the scenario. Of course, there was nothing anyone of us could do that day. It was Osama's day. It was Saddam Hussein's day. It was the Taleban and Al Queda's day. But all their nightmares would come slightly later.
My post is aptly titled "the day that shook the world and my kitchen".
What happened at my kitchen?
I have a nice and large dining room cum kitchen.
In my kitchen are 2 separate sets of L -shaped kitchen cabinets, one on the floor afixed to the wall and the other is mounted about 1.5 metres above the floor, secured strongly as is the usual case for such suspended cabinets.
We never had any problem with the cabinets...no, not for even a second.
Then this really strange, eerie and inexplicable thing happened....SUDDENLY.
At the precise moment when the the 1st of the TWIN TOWERs came crashing down as we watched on TV.....there was such a thunderous sound and vibration that shook my whole house!
For a moment, both me and D2 thought that a plane had crashed into our home!
The LOUD crashing sound was followed by sounds of breaking glass and other things.
My dog ran away in terror.
Horror of horrors...we had our own unimaginable nightmare which confronted us. Shocked beyond words, we saw our entire kitchen looking like a " war zone".
Our entire mounted kitchen cabinet had crashed onto the dining room floor spilling everything
inside, in a big mess of utensils, broken glass and crockery everywhere, splintered wood, twisted metal frames, etc... There was no rhyme or reason why our perfectly secure kitchen cabinet should have chosen to crash exactly at the same moment the WTC collapsed, thousands of kilometres away. It was unnerving! Neither D2 or I had any pre-warning this would happen.
Till this day, I am still puzzled and mystified by the 1 in a million chance of this coincidence.
Never in my life, our life, had we seen or experienced this before!
8 solid years have passed since that night for us and that day for 9/11 America.
America won't forget. Neither will unk Dicko and D2.
It was simply uncanny...the timing of the collapse of WTC and our kitchen cabinet.
Till this day, I have not stopped wondering about that incident.
Thinking back always give me the chills.
That was a very long night for me especially.
I did not sleep a wink...clearing up the broken mess and watching events continue to unfold
[ More gripping things about 911...next several posts, with news clippings]