We all like to scrapbook the special moments in our lives like birthdays, holidays and family gatherings. But have you tried scrapbooking world events – the big things that affect our lives.

After playing a racing game one day, I switched off the Playstation and the television flicked over to the channel we had last been using. I watched for a few moments, there was a skyscraper with smoke pouring from it and words scrolling along the bottom about a plane having hit it. I watched people jumping from the tower windows.

“Hmm” I thought to myself “This movie is surprisingly realistic, you could quite believe it were true.”

And then the penny dropped. This was the BBC. This was the news. This was real! A plane had just crashed into the side of the Twin Towers in New York. And as I watched, in shock another plane came along and flew into the other one.

The date was, of course 11 September 2001, a date that few people will ever forget.

I don’t know anyone who was in the Towers or the planes. I don’t even know anyone who had a relative involved. I have never been to New York.

But 9/11 affected me. I guess it affected almost everyone. My experience was a tiny one in the grand scheme of things. But it was MY experience, and important to me.

That day was a day of fear. I couldn’t stop watching. The normally calm BBC presenters were getting a bit nervous. News was coming in that another plane had hit the Pentagon. Rumours were flying that more planes were on their way to Paris, London and Rome. Were we next?

My son came in from school, with one of his friends. I tried to tell them what had happened. It was obvious they would hear about this very soon anyway, but how do you tell eleven year olds about something that is so BIG. We watched the second tower fall, holding hands. So many lives lost. So many more lives forever scarred.

My biggest memory was the sense of fear. Was this going to cause a war? Was this the end of the world? It seemed to possible. Everyone was freaking out, no one knew what to do or how to deal with what was happening. The casualty numbers were going up. How could so many people be die so fast?

A few weeks after 9/11 I made a scrapbook page. I included three pictures. The first one was from a magazine and showed the beautiful view of the Twin Towers at dawn on 11 September 2001. Then I added a picture taken about 24 hours later. This picture was not beautiful.

The main picture was of the attack itself. The same scene I had come upon when switching off my game. I look at it now and it still seems that surely it must be from a movie. But I know it isn’t.

I journalled about how I felt when I watched the attacks. I didn’t edit this in anyway.

This was my first ‘big event’ scrapbook page. Some of you may be thinking I should not have made a page like this. Perhaps you think that I didn’t suffer, I wasn’t involved. It was not my ‘big event’. The fear I felt that day was very small compared to those directly involved. The tears I wept for the dead were purely human compassion, not from personal pain and loss. But I did feel things. I witnessed a moment in history, a terrible moment. Sure, it was through the tv, but it was live, it was real and it was something I can never forget. We are surely all entitled to our feelings, fears and memories.

When I started this post I did not intend it to go the way it did. I intended to just say about how it can be interesting to blog about world events and how we react and feel about them, not just our immediate personal ones.

Scrapping the big things – Scrapbook snippet no 11

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