March 29, 2023

Women Fashion

Never be Caught

Daily Mirror chief reporter Andy Lines recalls his memories as US editor the day America came under attack

Bishop’s Stortford resident Andy Strains was residing just outside New York with wife Lois and their daughters Megan, then seven, and Rachel, 6, on September 11, 2001, when the United States arrived less than attack from terrorists.

At the time he was US editor of the Daily Mirror. Strains, from The Stewarts, is again in New York this 7 days for the 20th anniversary. Here are his recollections of that horrific day…

“DAY THE Globe CHANGED”. Individuals had been the four words I scrawled – in funds letters – in my operate diary on the evening of Tuesday 11 September, 2001.

Andy Lines' diary entry for Tuesday 11 September 2001 (50977714)
Andy Lines’ diary entry for Tuesday 11 September 2001 (50977714)

Twenty years ago – it barely would seem feasible it has been so lengthy considering that the most horrendous terrorist atrocity in modern history. Not surprisingly, I have pretty vivid recollections of nine/11.

Unusually, maybe, they centre on lesser, additional private items which appeared to me to sum up the sheer enormity of what took place that day.

On the early morning later on I keep in mind strolling down a wholly deserted 8th Avenue to Ground Zero (as it was shortly to be acknowledged all around the planet).

The World Trade Center shortly after the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Picture: Wally Gobetz
The Globe Trade Centre shortly following the collapse of the Twin Towers on nine/11. Picture: Wally Gobetz

I waded through piles of ash. On the pavement I observed a boarding move, a flight itinerary, a child’s shoe.

As I experienced walked off the practice at Grand Central station I watched two entire strangers method every other. They shook arms and wished every other great luck.

In our have house town, exactly where I lived with Lois, Megan and Rachel, tragedy was everywhere you go. Dozens of persons died.

Our neighbour’s car was left in the local railway station car park for a few months – his wife was praying he could have in some way survived working in the North Tower. He failed to. His physique was never found.

Andy Lines in a New York fire engine (50983399)
Andy Strains in a New York fire engine (50983399)

The father of one of our daughters’ best mates walked – walked – 28 miles house following escaping from the South Tower. Utterly traumatised and covered head to foot in ash, he failed to even phone his wife to say he was alive. He just preferred to get to the basic safety of his family members house.

Twelve several hours afterwards he put his essential in the front door to the relief and shock of his wife. Their marriage couldn’t cope with the subsequent trauma and they divorced a couple of years afterwards.

One more good friend, who commuted to midtown Manhattan, watched from her business as several persons jumped to their deaths to stay clear of the flames.

She was a few months’ expecting and was so traumatised, briefly, that she thought of a termination as she felt she couldn’t carry a little one into “such an evil world”.

Our following-door neighbour stood in his again backyard garden waving his fists and screaming encouragement to US fighter jets roaring overhead defending the New York airspace to go and “kill the enemy”. His son joined the military mainly because of the attacks and observed services in Afghanistan.

This all took place in one avenue in one modest suburb of one American town.

Previously that early morning I might just dropped off Lois, who was operating a PTA fundraising reserve fair, and our girls at key faculty just outside New York.

Before classes, as standard, they recited with their classmates the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, but by lunchtime the girls had been the past pupils there – everyone else experienced been taken house.

Numerous of them experienced dads who worked in the Towers. The good thing is, all survived.

Amid the devastation there had been some uplifting tales.

Andy Lines talking three days after the 9/11 attacks to New York fireman Mike Kehoe, who escaped from the World Trade Center seconds before its collapse (50981343)
Andy Strains conversing a few days following the nine/11 attacks to New York fireman Mike Kehoe, who escaped from the Globe Trade Centre seconds in advance of its collapse (50981343)

I keep in mind obtaining hero fireman Mike Kehoe alive in his fire station at 7am a few days afterwards. Everyone thought he have to have died following he was photographed on the Daily Mirror front web site bravely likely up the stairs of the doomed North Tower.

When I entered his station to inquire about him I was explained to: “No, he made it, he’s in fact asleep upstairs.” A fellow firefighter went to gently wake him.

That early morning there was non-cease torrential rain in Manhattan. Soon after the shorter job interview his colleagues insisted on giving us a raise in their fire engine, diverting to our lodge on their way again to seeking the rubble of Ground Zero.

The streets had been virtually deserted but I keep in mind an aged guy drenched in the rain applauding the emergency auto as it drove past.

A pall of smoke sat above Lower Manhattan as the fires burned for weeks.

Our editor then was Piers Morgan. He arrived above to New York in November. We got on a helicopter and flew down the Hudson River to Ground Zero with the pale gray smoke nevertheless spiralling significant into the sky.

Even then it was unachievable to understand the enormity of what experienced took place.

A tiny afterwards I attended a memorial services to mark a hundred days considering that the attack. Soon after the ceremony I jumped on the practice house and when I arrived at my cease I utilized the shared taxi services as standard.

A effectively-spoken aged lady sat beside me. We both equally experienced purchase of services memorial programmes in our coat pockets.

“I misplaced my son,” she mentioned softly. “I’m in fact not coping also terribly but it truly is been pretty tough for my daughter-in-legislation.”

We spoke for a couple of minutes as the taxi drove on and when it was time for me to get out I shook her hand and requested her identify.

“Mrs Brennan,” she replied. I went into the house and went on-line to try out to discover her aspects.

Within minutes I discovered Five gentlemen named Brennan experienced died in the Towers that day. I ultimately managed to discover the identify of her son.

That transient experience for me summed up the surprising scale of loss that transpired that day.

* Andy Strains grew up in Hatfield Heath, exactly where he went to the village key faculty, and attended the former Mountfitchet Substantial Faculty in Stansted. He commenced his journalism vocation in Bishop’s Stortford doing operate encounter at the now defunct Herts & Essex Observer. He joined the Daily Mirror in 1995 and has been its main reporter considering that 2013. His protection of the nine/11 attacks observed him shorter-outlined for Britain’s Reporter of the 12 months title and the Mirror received Newspaper of the 12 months for the first time. Andy is a regular contributor to the Stortford Indie.

Go through ALSO Daily Mirror main reporter and Bishop’s Stortford resident Andy Strains wins Amnesty Global award