Saturday, September 11, 2010

An Aussie remembers 9/11

Both Geneabloggers and the Society of Australian Genealogists have exhorted genealogists to reflect on 9/11 today.

My diary entry for September 9, 2001 is "After the Twin Towers tragedy in America we are rethinking our plans to travel to the US next week."

I remember clearly sitting in the study when one of my children phoned and suggested I turn on the TV to see what was happening in the US as we were due to fly there in a few days time to meet up with another son who was travelling around the world.

I watched in horror as the events of that day unfolded. Of course, on a personal level, I was disappointed that our travel plans were under threat but my heart went out to the families who lost loved ones in the tragic events that unfolded that day.

We were advised not to travel to the US. QANTAS gave us a full refund for our airfares and we were able to cancel our hotel bookings in the US. We had booked tickets to see Ringling Bros, Barnum and Bailey Circus in Salt Lake City; unfortunately we could not get a refund on these tickets and couldn't find a way to give our tickets to a needy Utah family. Our son, who was in New Zealand, was able to alter his travel plans to travel to Europe via the US with just a short stopover.

As a family bistorian I was most disappointed that I missed an opportunity to do some research whilst my husband was attending an ICMA Conference in Salt Lake City. I have yet to visit the Family History Library although I was lucky enough on an earlier visit to hear the Mormom Tabernacle Choir. I also missed an oportunity to attend a library conference somewhere south of Chicago. We were easily able to change our travel plans and attend a library conference at the Twin Waters Resort in Queensland.

My disappointments pale into insignificance when compared with the devastation experienced in NYC. On a recent visit to New York we were sobered by a visit to Ground Zero, the site of the Twin Towers.

I constantly think of those people in New York City and our family members in the US who were affected by the events of 9/11 and feel blessed that I live in The Lucky Country.

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