Memories of Nine-Eleven

So where were you guys on the exact date when the planes crash into the New York’s WTC Twin Towers on 9/11-2001? I remembered clearly on that Tuesday morning, just a week after starting my work as a Sales Engineer in ISSI (Integrated Silicon Solutions Incorporated) based in Tamar Science Park, I was assigned to work on a database.

In our office that day was Glenn Louch – my boss, Marco Carlino – our European Regional Sales Manager, Graeme Baxter – our MIS Manager & Chuck (Charles) McLaren, our Product Marketing Engineer, SRAM Division who has just arrived from the States for a European business trip to meet up with our distributors in Holland, Germany, Italy & France.


Whats’ going on man? Tell me?

The morning started as usual with all of us quite relaxed performing our routines. Chuck was most of the time in the conference room working on his PowerPoint slides & his presentation materials before his trip to Holland in the next few days. It was a quite a gloomy day as autumn was just around the corner. We were sipping coffee & tea while docking at our workstations. As the atmosphere was a bit chilly, sipping our hot beverages was indeed the best remedy to accelerate efficiency up a little.

Strangely we didn’t go out for lunch that day like we normally do. We stayed in the office & called for some sandwich to be delivered to the office. I was having my favorite white bread chicken & mayo sandwich with loads of salad & mayo that day like I always do & a cup of milked coffee as usual. It was a quiet sombre lunch in office as if the somberness has already shown an omen or something.

It was just past 1.45pm, & when we were about to resume our work as usual at 2pm, Glenn received a phone call from the States. It was a call from our HQ in Santa Clara. The conversation was brief & quick. Immediately after hang-up, Glenn’s face turned pale, frantic & awe, he hurried to the conference room where Chuck is & hastily turn on the TV. Glenn announced to us briefly ‘Guys, the twin tower has been struck’. We paused, halted our work at once & rushed to our conference room & in awe I saw the first tower which was the south tower already been struck by American Airline Flight 11 which was a Boeing 767-223. I reckon it happened just few minutes before we switch on the TV because the explosion was still ‘fresh’.

Our jaws dropped. I was speechless, in fact all of us were speechless. Not a single word uttered as everyone was glued straight-away to the telly. When we thought that was it, we saw another plane flying low – it was soon identified as United Airline Flight 175, a Boeing 767-222 immediately struck the second tower which was the north tower. Our jaws just drop down further to an extent my chin start aching. We were utterly shocked & no words could describe how we feel that time. Blank. We were just speechless.

The impact was the greatest for Chuck as he was an American, away from homeland & was so enthusiastic about his presentation in the next few days being ‘greeted’ by this devastating news from home. I could not imagine the state I’m in if I were in his shoes witnessing the glorious landmark of my own country being desecrated in such a manner that time.

The next hour, 2 more crashes occurs involving American Airlines Flight 77 in Arlington, Virginia half hour later & finally United Airlines Flight 93 which crash-landed in Pennsylvania. Imagine that in 1 hour & 17 minutes we have to endure 4 of the biggest tragedies in the world in a single blow. I swear I wouldn’t wanna witness that horror again for the rest of my life. It is not a sight that you want to see as long as you live.

That day was a day of low morale & spirits for us. We don’t resume much of our work. Just glued to the telly, pondering endlessly.

The tragedy resulted in a lot of backlog in our distribution after the incident. Supplies cannot be shipped in time as it was stranded in airport. Since security is getting tighter after that, the industry is really experiencing difficult time in their sales history.

Where am I during 911 after that?

  • 2002 – Just graduated, was holidaying in Dagenham & Barking in east London
  • 2003 – Was partying in Andrew’s house in Mount Street
  • 2004 – Working.
  • 2005 – Watched the Moscow State Circus in Central Park
  • 2006 – Mayflower Steps remembrance ceremony at the Barbican.

Anyway, my heart & thoughts still goes out to the families of the victims who lost their lives in that eventful tragedy. Lest we forget.