September 11th has always been a significant date in our family as it is my Mum’s birthday and as it child, it always marked the countdown to my own birthday at the end of the month. But in 2001, when I was still at home with baby Joshua on maternity leave, this date took on a new meaning : I was sitting on the settee with my baby in my arms, feeding him, as the full horror of the Twin Towers attacks unfolded on the television in front of me. I was transfixed and could not move as disbelief changed to a horrified understanding of what was going on. I clung to my 6 month old baby and I sobbed. I cried for all the children who would never see their parents again and for those innocents caught in the fire, forced to leap to their deaths rather than burn alive. It was like a horror movie unfolding before me.

We had been in the World Trade Center, on the top floor, in June the year before , when I was newly pregnant and had not yet told anyone. My husband had bought a New York yellow cab tie from the gift shop there as a memento and he was wearing that same jolly yellow tie to work on the day that the World Trade Center was attacked.

As I sat at home, safe with my baby, it was a stark reminder to me never to take life for granted : you never know as you kiss your husband goodbye as he goes to work, if you will actually see him again that night. Of course our lives get busy again and we carry on as we did before the 9/11 attack, but it is always worth sparing a few moments on this day thinking of the families whose lives were shattered on this date in 2001 and for being grateful for what you have.

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