Life of a Blogger {1}: Where were you 13 years ago?


September 11, 2014 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm

Life of a Blogger is a weekly bookish meme hosted by the lovely Jessi of Novel Heartbeat, shining the spotlight on bloggers on a more personal level 🙂 Every week she chooses a topic and shares about her life, encouraging other bloggers to do the same.  Today’s topic is Where Were You 13 Years Ago?

11 Sept 2001

We all know what 13 years ago was, and I for one cannot believe just how long ago it was.  I was only 13 years old at the time, and I’d just come back from my second trip to Italy to visit family.  We’d brought one of my cousins back with us as well, and we’d only been back a few days when this happened.  Technically, it didn’t actually ‘happen’ in Australia until 12 September 2001; given the different timezones, it was already the next day in Australia when disaster struck.

I don’t remember much, partly because I was still in a jetlagged haze and partly due to my age.  I don’t remember what time it was when it made the news in Australia, but I remember that image being played over and over again on the TV.  I don’t think it was something we really talked about in school, but we certainly talked about it at home.

I had some American relatives in the country for a wedding, they were from Connecticut and their son worked in the WTC.  I think my experience of 9/11 was different to many Australians for that very reason.  I had a personal connection to this only three hours down the road, and we waited to find out if their son was okay {thankfully he was}.  We saw them that weekend and while I may not remember much about that time, I’ll never forget the sight of my great-uncle pacing the floor, angrily defending his nation.  When I learnt about American patriotism at university all those years later, I often thought back to this moment.

As for my cousin, she completely freaked out and wanted to go home straight away {understandably}, but she was really scared of flying.  To my family back in Italy, Australia and America are interchangeable and her parents were convinced that disaster had struck just down the road.  In the end, she only stayed one month instead of two.

I was a bit oblivious to it all – I was 13 years old and I was more interested in that cute guy at school than I was in something that (1) I didn’t understand and (2) was happening so far away from me.  Even though I’d been overseas twice, America wa so far away that it may as well have been on the moon.  I didn’t really understand that while this had happened somewhere else, it had an impact on Australians too – it was an affront to the entire Western world.

I wouldn’t be surprised if my parents shielded my younger brother and I from the coverage after a while, it’s not something you really want a 13 year old and an 11 year old to watch. The way the media portrays disasters occurring outside of Australia, it flares up and saturates the coverage for a while and then it eventually dies down.  The speed with which it dies down, however, depends on how many Australians were impacted in the disaster. I think that’s probably true of any country though – sad as it sounds, many people are only interested in the news insofar as it directly affects them and that’s what sells.

Whew!  How’s that for my first topic, it was a bit of a D&M… What about you, where were you 13 years ago?


4 thoughts on “Life of a Blogger {1}: Where were you 13 years ago?

  1. Cait says:

    I was 7 and completely oblivious to the Twin Towers tragedy. I didn’t even know it happened. *sigh* I’d like to think I wasn’t a stupid kid, but if everyone was talking about it, I just had noooo idea. Maybe my parents actively shielded me from it too. But it’s kind of embarrassing, but I really didn’t know what had happened until I was in my mid-teens. I was just oblivious.

    • I don’t think it’s unusual at all that you were oblivious, you were 7 years old! The Port Arthur massacre happened when I was 8 years old, and I don’t remember any of it. There’s no way that wasn’t on the news 24/7, both at the time and in the months afterwards when John Howard pushed through the controversial (at the time) gun laws. I lived in a country town which would’ve been in uproar about these laws, and I was off in lala land. I know it isn’t on the scale of 9/11 in terms of lives lost, but this was a tragic moment in our history. I learnt a bit about it when I was in my teens but it wasn’t until after I went to Port Arthur in 2012 that I actually looked into what happened. I was 24 years old! THAT is embarrassing!

  2. Wow! Great and thought provoking post! I was still a children’s librarian. I remember getting a call from one of my coworkers to go on AOL because a plane just crashed into one of the towers. We were all watching the coverage when the second plane hit. It was all so surreal. I heard gasps and silence, and once we realized what was happening, sobbing.

    • Thanks! I think everyone’s experience of this, or any disaster really, is entirely dependent on their circumstances at the time – age, location, etc. I think my memory of it is also supplemented by all the specials you see on TV and in the print media around this time of year, when what I actually remember of that day is very little indeed.

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Hi! I'm Bernadette, a 27 year old lawyer who loves to read (duh!), especially to escape my day job. I love to talk about books but I don't always get the opportunity to do so, hence my blog! I adore YA literature, most genres of Adult Fiction, and I've also been known to pick up a non-fiction book from time to time. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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