Me on September 11, 2001

I moved to London in 1998 to continue building FrogDog’s overseas clientele; I worked from my house in London and traveled back to the States every few months to keep the business humming on the home front.

On the afternoon of September 11, 2011, while working at my computer in the guest bedroom, I received an e-mail from a morning show disc jockey in Texas. (FrogDog had one of the biggest radio and television outlets as a client.)

The one-line e-mail read: “Suicide bombing World Trade Center.”

My immediate thought: That happened almost ten years ago. What relevance does it have now and to anything a morning-show DJ would need?

I don’t remember how I responded. I remember his return note: “Plane hit WTC.”

As in a Cessna? Wouldn’t be the first time a private pilot has gotten off track—or suicidal. Still unsure of what he needed, I called the back line into the DJ booth. He said, “Can’t talk. We’re under attack.”

What?

As is true today, I had no television.

So I called my then boyfriend, who worked for Enron in London. I got voice mail. I called my brother and woke him up.

“Turn on the television,” I said.

“What am I looking for?”

And then: “Holy…”

Accidentally or reflexively, he hung up.

By that time, the most prominent U.S. news Web sites had gone down. When I tried calling again, the lines to the U.S. had overloaded; calls wouldn’t go through.

I never saw the footage—moments caught on screen that the media later removed because of their graphic and horrifying content: people jumping from windows, for example.

The next day’s U.K. papers gave me a foreign perspective—as our papers do when covering events beyond our borders, our military, and our diplomatic efforts. Everyone tells me about the intense community that they felt in the weeks and months after the attack; I’d like to believe that’s true.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?