Friday, September 9, 2011

Australians Remember (A 9/11 Guest Blog)

Denyse Whelan is Australian, and you can read her blog at Denyse Whelan Blogger. Educator. Consultant. You can also follow her on Twitter: @denwise1


9/11. 10 Years Ago.

My husband and I send all warm wishes, and our sincere condolences to our U.S. families and friends.

This anniversary is like no-other.

How can it be 10 years ago? It is.

We remember this:
  • It was in the wee hours of our morning, that our son woke us to tell what he had just witnessed via the TV screen in our front room.
  • He was awake to see "it" - the tragedy and terror- unfold via live TV because he had returned from his evening shift at work.
  • We all felt sick. We felt disbelief. We could not stop watching as our screens were filled with sights, and sounds, never seen beyond a Hollywood effects movie.
Later that day:
  • I went to work. As a school principal.
  • The school's location, around 30 minutes west from our place, housed Sydney's Royal Air Force Base.
  • Many students who attended the school had parents, and relatives who worked there.
  • From the time I arrived, I was dealing with students who worried about Mum's or Dad's job, and what would happen if they same "thing" i.e. terrorism struck here too.
  • I was also leading a group of teachers who were, like me, affected by the horror. The sheer size and magnitude not understood.
  • The air force base went into Lockdown mode. For the first time anyone could remember.
What about now, 10 years on?
  • It is said that the world changed that day. I agree.
  • Air travel became a new security measures, and added restrictions, as I found when I visited the U.S. in 2006.
  • "It's because of 9/11" was the catch cry.
  • We never forget. The sights. The stories.
  • In fact this week, we have re-visited much of the day the world change via our TV screens.
The future:
  • None of us could predict "that day" nor I guess the ones ahead.
  • However, I am coming to U.S., specifically to New York City, in July 2012.
  • My first, and most important part of my stay, will be to visit, and pay my respects to the people, whose lives were lost, irreparably changed, on 9/11/01.

Denyse Whelan. Blogger. Educator. Consultant.   Twitter: @denwise1


  1. When I read of your day at school the next day, I think of what must have been going through the minds of all the teachers and administrators who worked in the school with my wife. The school had been locked down and at first even parents couldn't get their children. When the next phase happened and parents could start picking up their kids, all the teachers and administrators knew that there would be those who no longer had parents to come pick them up. Not a day I would like to live over.

  2. What a time. If there was a movie made...would people believe it?
    But unfortunately it was real and has real impacts now and into the future. Thinking of you and yours, the families of survivors, the families of those whose loved ones never came home. Our sad and bad day of history cemented. Take care of you remember 9/11.

  3. Denyse, feeling sick and disbelief seems to be a common response, doesn't it? And we couldn't believe what we saw. I don't think distance from the event made any difference. Other than the chance of knowing a victim was slimmer. Mark has helped me understand the impact on New Yorkers.