One of the most vividly-remembered events of all time is September 11th, 2001. As we remember, this was the day that plunged the world into fear and changed the world as we know it. The ramifications of the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre in New York City changed the way we travel, the way we view different cultures and prompted widespread reform to immigration, logistics and trade.
There are many conspiracy theorists out the who have written the attacks as a political stunt, but this gives little solace to the families of the victims as well as those who eye-witnessed the attacks. One of the more chilling videos comes from an apartment building eight blocks away from the World Trade Centre. NYU student, Caroline Dreas shot the clear if not a little shaky footage on her brand new camcorder and her and her roommate’s reactions give a very raw and honest reaction to the mind-boggling events of the morning.
The footage opens after the first plane has hit, and like many who didn’t actually witness the plane hitting the tower wondered what kind of bomb or explosion had caused the plumes of smoke to billow out from the North Tower.
The TV is on in the background with news reports of a plane having ploughed into it. Just as they are getting their heads around it, a second plane cannons into the South Tower and hysteria ensues. Having just witnessed the most eye-opening, surreal event of their lives, they immediately display the most raw of human reactions, and seek to run from danger. They do not seem to be able to rationalise what they have just seen.
After leaving the apartment building and feeling unsafe, the housemates return to the apartment and Dreas continues filming.The shocked housemates are a little delirious by this point, but the footage returns to the site of the WTC in time to see the South Tower fall. In an interview 10 years later, Dreas seemed thankful that she had filmed the attack in such detail. As are we. “People want to remember the details clearly and to hold onto it because they know how significant it [the attack] was.” she said.