- There are moments in history that are so devastating that they are forever etched in memory.
- On the morning of 11 September 2001, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists successfully hijacked four aircraft
- By 9.30 pm the World Trade Center was affected, hundreds of people were killed and many were trapped in the upper floors.
- Now, 20 years on, Britons have been sharing their memories of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks
There are moments in history that are so devastating that they are forever etched in memory and the world falls into a state of shock and horror.
Like the death of Princess Diana, or the murder of JFK, you’ll always remember where you were when you first heard the news of 9/11, but it’s perhaps even more shocking because of the panic that the world witnessed. The siege was felt. And – as MailOnline columnist Piers Morgan recalls – it felt like “Armageddon.”
On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists successfully hijacked four planes bound for California, and by 9.30 p.m. one of New York City’s most famous landmarks, the World Trade Center, had been hit, killing hundreds. And many more were trapped. in the upper floors.
Many who watched the scene on television around the world initially assumed it was a tragic accident – but it quickly became clear that it was an act of war, which would strike fear and devastation in the hearts of Americans and indeed the rest of the world. was done for.
Now, 20 years later, politicians, public figures and TV personalities have shared with MailOnline where they first heard about the news that day and the shock and emotions that followed immediately.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists successfully hijacked four California-bound planes with the intention of crashing into iconic buildings. Now, 20 years later, politicians, public figures and TV personalities have revealed where they were that day and how it affected their lives for years to come.
Tory MP and former army officer Johnny Mercer, 40, said the moment the second plane hit the South Tower, he knew ‘nothing will happen’ again
Lord (Alex) Carlyle: QC Former Lib Dem MP and independent critic for terrorist law
Lord Alex Carlyle, former Lib Dem MP and independent critic of terrorist law QC, listens to the radio in the face of the attack
‘I was talking to a client with a junior in his barrister’s chamber in central London and someone knocked on the door and asked us if we saw what was happening in New York.
‘We didn’t have a TV, but we turned on the radio and the three of us listened for about 45 minutes and couldn’t believe what we were hearing.
‘It wasn’t until I got home that I saw the images that were so harsh and shocking, and they persisted for 20 years. I had just built one of the Twin Towers a few months ago, so it had extra resonance for me.
‘I knew from that moment that this was not only going to be a big deal, but that it would replace the Cold War, which had ended a few years earlier.
“And it also changed things for me personally because earlier that same day, I was called by the then Home Secretary David Blunkett to ask me if I would be the new independent reviewer of terrorism law.
‘I was told I would have to work maybe 10 days a year, but in that first year, I worked in that position for about 180 days.
‘My job was to help the government and parliament ensure that the new laws brought in to deal with the threat of 9/11 were proportionate and fair, and developed in a responsible, law-abiding manner.
‘I did it for nine and a half years. And it was a very important part of my life. ‘
Jamie Redknapp: Footballer
Jamie Redknapp remembers playing a match at Anfield but feeling ‘numb’
‘I remember it like it was yesterday. When I heard about it I was in a hotel in Liverpool that night before the Champions League game against Portuguese team Boavista.
‘Robby Fowler called me to his room and told me to turn on Sky News. I did immediately, as another plane hit.
‘As players, we didn’t know what to do. Should we play that night? Was it even safe to play? We did not know whether there was going to be another attack on Britain.
“There was talk of postponing the match, but others suggested that we go ahead with the game just to keep the excitement going.
‘That’s what we did in the end… we did as we were told and played.
‘I’ve never known such an environment. It was so bizarre at Anfield, everyone was stunned after everything they had seen, heard and read.
‘I was coming back from an injury and was on the bench. We got a draw but it was not a good match. How could this happen under those circumstances?
‘I will never forget that day and have been to New York twice since then….