Everybody who is about twenty-three years of age or older likely remembers where they were on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
Anne and I were at our cottage at Lakeside, Prince Edward Island. Good friends of ours from Toronto, Connie, Jean and Mikey Mandala, were spending a few days with us.
It was a beautiful warm sunny day in PEI with not a cloud in the sky. Connie and Mikey were off playing golf; Jean and Anne were walking the beach. At that time I had not yet retired and had postponed my own walk on the beach in order to deal with some emails and return some telephone calls.
At breakfast that morning we had decided to have dinner in the evening at The Inn at St. Peter’s, our favourite restaurant in PEI, and which we still frequent during the summers. I finished my work about mid-morning and called the Inn to make our reservation. The conversation went as follows:
“Good morning, Inn at St.Peter’s. How can I help you?”
“Hi, it’s Lyman MacInnis calling. Do you have room for five of us for dinner at seven this evening?”
“Yes, if we’re still here.”
“What do you mean ‘if you’re still here?”
“Do you not have your TV on?”
“No. What’s happening?”
“You better turn it on. The Russians are attacking the United States.”
I don’t remember the young lady’s name who was working the reception desk that morning at the Inn, and even though I never thought for a moment that the Russians were attacking the US, she certainly caught my attention. I was definitely going to turn on CNN as soon as I got off the phone. But before hanging up I said “Well, let’s take a chance and book it anyway.” “OK,” she agreed.
I turned on the TV just in time to see the second plane crash into the World Trade Center and, like millions of others, was glued to the screen for most of the rest of the day.
At no time did I feel that anything else was going to happen after the third plane crashed on its way to the Pentagon, so I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner at the Inn that evening. But the world has not been the same since, particularly airports, border crossings and public buildings.
I think the terrorists won.