- Arts and Design
September 11 tribute graphics
Free graphics - a tribute created on September 11, 2001
These tribute graphics were created on that very day, just a few hours after the terrible happenings that none of us will ever forget. You are still free to use these today, if you wish.
They were used a lot soon after they were created and were seen on many websites.One lady even used one of the designs to make a memorial quilt.
Let me tell you how they came about - they were originally intended to show solidarity from the British people living in the States. They were created by my other half and we were pleased that they were so widely used.
It was just before nine in the morning and I was in the shower. I heard what we'll call an expletive coming from the lounge, grabbed a hasty towel and rushed through to see what was happening. He was glued to the TV.
I just didn't realize at first. I hadn't yet admitted to myself that I really needed glasses and so with my somewhat dodgy eyesight, I thought a light aircraft had flown into the building I could see on the television. I assumed that the building had huge glass windows and thought that maybe the pilot hadn't been too badly hurt. That's how naïve I was.
Graphics created by and © of Andy Royston.
I still didn't understand
'No' he said 'I don't think you understand...' and stopped suddenly when we saw another plane approaching the towers. It too hit.
'My goodness' I said, still thinking because of my rotten eyesight that these were light aircraft 'there must be a problem with air traffic control'.
I still didn't understand.For some reason, I didn't even think about the likelihood of there being people in the building. Assuming that business life in New York started at nine in the morning, or later for bankers, lawyers and other professionals, the building would be unoccupied.
And because I had seen stupid movies where the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger had crashed light aircraft into buildings and merely brushed the broken glass away, I still didn't realize that anyone had been badly hurt.Then reality kicked in. Were we really seeing this?
This was worse than a horror movie. Surely I was dreaming? Surely this couldn't be happening? This is America. This is 2001. I think that it was the same for other people too; we were simply having a hard time believing that this was really taking place as we watched. We tried to deny the truth.
No work that day
But the full horror hadn't yet sunk in.
Indeed,worse was to come but in the meantime we were distracted by our 'sales guy'. We worked from home then,as we do now, and our colleague used to come around every morning to contact clients and plan our work. He tried a few business phone calls - no-one was replying; everyone was still at home watching events unfold.
We had work but needed client feedback in order to proceed - we were just thinking that we wouldn't be able to work that day when our attention was grabbed by the television.The south tower collapsed.Now we too were glued to the television.
It was only about twenty minutes later that we watched the north tower collapse too. We saw the fires, we saw explosions. You know only too well the tragic sights we had seen before the towers were destroyed and you know what scenes we saw afterwards. None of us will ever forget.I think that we felt one of the same emotions that people allover America were feeling - one of absolute helplessness.
As we watched the scenes just seemed to get worse and worse but there was nothing we could do - just watch with growing horror and fear for ourselves too. If this could happen in New York, it could happen to us.
Our sales guy left. He wanted to be at home with his family, understandably, now that he fully realized what was going on.
The phone rang and it was a friend calling from England. Naturally, she too had been watching the television ever since the first attack. She wanted to know if we were OK and what our reactions were. I went outside and sat on the dock - it was a beautiful sunny day here in Florida, and we talked on the phone for ages.
When I eventually got back into the apartment I saw that Andy was sitting at the computer. I assumed that he was looking at the BBC website to see how they were reporting the events. But no, what I saw on his monitor was what you see on this page.
Rather than sit feeling helpless he was busy creating the tribute graphics you see on this page.The ones here are the only ones I could find and I had to delve into the very depths of my old (almost antique) computer to find them - after all, although it's fresh in all our minds, it's a long time ago now.
But there was a whole series and we uploaded them to the web for anyone to use free, for whatever purpose they wanted. We received so many emails from people about them, especially from British people - both in America and in other countries - telling us how they used them to show their support for the United States.
And for the Irish too
I don't have any statistics to work with here but if the chaos on St Patrick's Day in America is anything to go by, then there are a lot of Irish people -or those of Irish descent -living in the USA.
If I remember rightly, graphics were also created with Scottish and Welsh themes so that people from those countries could also show their support by using them.
These were the only ones I could find but please feel free to use them if you'd like to. If I manage to find more from the collection I'll be sure to add them here. If you do use them, it would be wonderful if you could use the contact button on my profile page to let me know. He is always happy to know when his work helps..
Do we really want to read about this subject? I think we almost have a duty to, if only so that we have all the facts and future generations will know what happened. I have often been astonished by ill-informed youngsters who have only the vaguest idea of events that happened before their time.
And something I read recently that was a surprise to me but it's true - people who are sixteen / seventeen or younger won't remember the events of September 11. Let's make sure that they know the truth - to help ensure that similar atrocities never happen again.
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A little light relief
Mums say the daftest things - well, mine did
I felt compelled to write about this subject. But I don't want to appear morbid or gloomy. What's done is done - we can't change history.
My late mum could always be relied upon to lighten up the gloomiest situations with the things she said - and many times, it was unintentional like this one.
The day after the attacks, we were talking on the phone about it. We were talking about the fact that planes had been grounded and wondering if there would be any more attacks and if flying was safe. She was expressing concern because she was due to go on vacation shortly - by air.
Then she said something that just cracked me up:
'Mind you, I'm only going for two weeks.'
'What,mother? Sorry? What does the duration have to do .... oh,never mind...