It was a perfect afternoon in late summer. The weather was warm and sunny, but not too hot. My husband had taken some time off from work, and we were both worn out from amusing our toddler all day. Maybe it wasn't the most romantic way to spend our wedding anniversary, but when you become a parent, you soon learn to choose your moment. Our special time was going to come much later on, after the children had gone to bed. There was a pizza in the fridge, together with gateau and a bottle of wine, all ready for our celebration.
My over-worked husband had used our special day as a lever to escape a big client meeting in Manhattan, but (then, as now) he could never let up completely. While I got ready to collect our ten-year old from her after-school club, he rang in to his firm's New York office see if everything was running smoothly. For the first time ever, a call to his colleagues was over in seconds - even before I'd had time to leave the room.
'That's odd,' he said. 'The PA hung up on me. She said she couldn't talk. Something's happened.'
He was already firing up his laptop as he spoke, and was composing an email as I walked out of the house.
It was our 19th wedding anniversary: 11th September, 2001.
Half an hour later, I was back from the school run and we'd forgotten all about our special day. The horror unfolding on TV and radio wiped everything else out of our minds then, and for a long time afterwards. My husband should have been in the WTC that morning. Like the thousands of people who were actually there in Manhattan, he is very conscientious, really hates being late for anything and was bound to have been on the spot, way too early for his meeting.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, and ours is no exception. Yet not a day has passed since then that I don't look at him and think 'I am so lucky to still have you by my side.' It could have been very different. My whole family are deeply grateful for our good fortune, but we are painfully aware that friends, colleagues and many, many other people in the United States and around the world are facing today in terribly different circumstances.
When I saw my regular monthly spot here fell on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I thought for a long time about what I could possibly contribute. Finally, I decided that the First World War poet Laurence Binyon said more than I ever could, and in only a few lines. His words have been a comfort to millions over the years, and I hope these extracts from For the Fallen will help you through today wherever you are, and whatever your circumstances.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them...
...But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known,
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
All over the world today, names will be read out as we remember those who died. Their most fitting tribute is that they will all live on in the memories of their loved ones, and in the thoughts and prayers of those of us who witnessed the indescribably tragic and world changing events of 9/11.
Christina Hollis is a writer. Today, that's all you need to know.