Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 12:03 pm
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: I am home
I flew in from New York City last night.
I have never felt so lucky to be home.
Join me in prayers for patience and understanding
as we all recover from the shock of this tragedy.
Join me in celebration of the power of community as we witness the
spirit of the people coming together to help each other in recovery.
Join me in prayers for compassion and strength of the human heart.
Join me in prayers for understanding in our world community in the
coming days as our leaders try to make sense of why this has happened.
Join me in prayers to move forward in love not fear or anger.
Join me in prayers that the world will see this opportunity
to come together to support peace in a spirit of cooperation.
Join me in prayers of understanding for those who see terrorism as a solution.
Join me in celebration of the strength of humanity shown in
acts of heroism on the streets of America and around the world.
Join me in prayers of gratitude for all that I have and help me
to see ways that I can share what I have where it is needed.
Join people everywhere in our belief in tomorrow as we choose to see this
as a reminder of how fragile our life is on this planet we all call home.
Join me as I light a candle for friends and family everywhere
to help us to help each other heal from this tragic awakening.
I sent this postcard to my parents from JFK airport on 10 September
and heartbeat started
I had spent most of the summer of 2001 in Canada with friends and family before flying off for my first visit to New York City. It was a short business trip and I hadn't
finalized a date for my return to Hong Kong.
At our first meeting, I asked for tourist tips and my clients advised giving the World Trade Centre a miss – saying it was highly over-rated. At the time, I
had no idea what they were talking about so I followed the advice. My week was spent exploring the city with my trusty Pentax K1000 loaded with black & white film. The weather had been perfect and I fell in love with the city.
I got my first glimpse of the towers from a boat tour late
Sunday evening, my last night in the city, I realized I had discovered the best
vantage point for views of the entire city. I immediately started thinking of
how I could reschedule my flight so I could take a trip to the viewing deck.
With clear blue morning skies, I imagined the shots I could get from the top of
the city in the early morning hours. I realized, however, that I would have to
miss my 7am flight the next morning to call the airline and try to reschedule
for Wednesday morning and, since I would be on the phone Monday morning, that
would leave Tuesday morning, 11 September 2001 to could go to the Top of the
World for my early morning photo shoot. After lots of back and forth, I decided
that it wasn’t worth the risk of not getting the flight on Wednesday morning. By
then I was really missing my own pillow at home in Hong Kong and I would be
back. At 2am, I began packing my bags for the airport.
I flew out of JFK in the early hours of 9/10 and was on
the plane just hours from Chek Lap Kok when the towers fell. By the time I
arrived in my flat, CNN had just completed the final edit of the famous footage
and I was stunned – my brain struggled with the fact that the scenes in front of
me were news and not just another Hollywood action movie.
I started writing a short email to let everyone know I was
home safe and this is the message that resulted.
The response to the email from friends and family led to
the birth of heartbeat a few short weeks later.
find it helpful to re-visit this message from time to time.