AN American family who have set up home in Hartlepool will take time out today to remember the atrocities of 9/11.
Today is the 13th anniversary of the terror attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, and memorial events will take place across the States to mark the occassion.
The Wright family, who moved to Hartlepool’s Headland from Indiana in 2013, run the Ranch House American eaterie in Church Square.
Sisters Esther, Juiwanna and Amber all work at the diner, but even though they are thousands of miles form home they will be marking the occasion with a yellow ribbon tied to the front of their business.
Esther, 33, said; “It’s a symbol that all Americans will be using to mark 9/11.
“We may be a long way from home, but we will mark the occasion like the rest of the Americans.
“It is always a patriotic day, we all give our troops a show of support and we’ll have our flag flying at our home on the Headland.”
The girls vividly remember news of the first plane hitting one of the Twin Towers coming through as they sat with family in the States.
Esther added: “We had friends over, and one of their sisters called to say that a plane had hit one of the towers.
“We were listening to it on the radio, and then the second plane hit. Nobody knew what was happening, it was just pure panic.
“Our dad and brother were working in Louisville at the time, that’s a big city and we were worried that could be next.
“The only way they could get home was to cross a big bridge, but it was saying on the radio that bridges could be targeted.
“New York is about 600 or 700 miles away from where we were in Indiana, but no matter what city people were in, they were scared.”
Juiwanna, who was just 18 at the time of the attacks, added: “Nobody knew what was coming next.
“People packed into the supermarkets to buy food, and there were huge queues at filling stations with people getting gas for their cars.
“There was no warning, no time to prepare. The whole country was just in complete panic.”
The girls also remember the uncertainty in the days that followed, as a nation struggled to come to terms with the atrocity.
“Everyhting just stopped,” Esther added.
“People were suspicious of anyone they didn’t know, it wasn’t nice at all.
“One of our cousins was a navy Seal so he got called out, everyone knew someone who had been affected by it all.
“We knew of people, like friends of friends, who were in New York at the time.”
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