9/11 memories: Elizabeth Turner

We asked the author of The Blue Skies of Autumn: where were you on 9/11?

I stood quietly on my own, watching the TV screen in my office at Channel 4 Television. I couldn't quite understand what had happened, but the "Breaking News" tagline on Sky News was telling the world that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. I thought it was a small aviation accident but I watched in disbelief as a small black dot flew into the second tower and burst into a huge fireball. Everything around me moved into slow motion. I was aware of the rush of sheer terror that washed over me in that one, single moment. As quickly as it came, I pushed it away. I didn't dare believe the impact of what had just happened. Even though I was seven months pregnant and knew that Simon, my husband, was hosting a conference on the top floor of the North Tower in the World Trade Center, I kept telling myself that this sort of thing only happens to other people. My husband wasn't going to die in a terrorist attack when I was pregnant with our first child.

Simon Turner died on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001

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This article first appeared in the 05 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, 9/11