September 11 remembered on the Fleurieu Peninsula

The lives of a Delamere couple changed forever when the Twin Towers were struck down 14 years ago today.

Sculptor Geoff Bromilow was in New York and was meant to have breakfast at the top of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. Meanwhile, his then girlfriend - and now wife - Kathryn Pentecost, was in Australia asleep.

Geoff was exhibiting in New York and staying uptown near Woody Allen's apartment with two artist friends. On September 10, he said he wanted to take them to the centre for breakfast the next morning. Geoff had been struggling to sleep and was waking up early in the weeks prior to that day. But as fate would have it, the men slept in.

They woke to the radio cutting in and out, before an announcer said the second tower had been hit by a plane. The friends then started to realise what was going on.

"We were all fairly shocked, particularly seeing as we planned to be down there," Geoff said.

"It was one of those moments where there was nothing to say."

If anything, it feels like we're still living with ongoing consequences. - Kathryn Pentecost

In the first 48 hours after the event, Geoff said he observed an immense amount of shock, horror and fear among the people on the ground. But he also noticed a change in the way people communicated with each other on the street.

"It made them incredibly receptive and responsive and talk to others, instead of appearing isolated and not willing to engage with strangers," he said.

Kathryn heard about the towers going down from a friend.

"I had a phone call at 7am; a girlfriend screamed at me 'look at the TV now, New York has been blown up'," she said.

"Then Geoff rang me an hour later."

Kathryn said in the time between the phone calls from her friend and Geoff, she was not worried.

"Strangely, instinctively, I knew he was OK," she said.

A news broadcast by CNN.

To mark the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, they released a book featuring pictures from Geoff's time in New York when the event happened, and text by Kathryn. The book is called Peace & war: 9/11 stories and was launched at the Melbourne City Library and Barr Smith Library in Adelaide.

The couple moved to Delamere in 2012. In April this year, they visited New York and Geoff said he noticed people had a different attitude towards each other.

"People were incredibly friendly and happy to engage with others," he said.

Today, Kathryn said the event continues to shape the couple and it is always in the back of their minds.

"If anything, it feels like we're still living with ongoing consequences," she said.

"I hold many conflicting feelings about those events and what is still taking place now as a result," she said.

Geoff said, "I wish that no bombs had been dropped on Iraq".

The Times asked its Facebook followers to share their stories about September 11. 

Lisa Brook I was on my way into the city to go to my EN course at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. I heard it on the radio and it was all too surreal. I saw it on Foxtel when I got home and I saw exactly what had happened. Such cowardly acts by callous people, which killed hundreds of innocent people. It was a day that stopped the nation. So sad.

Emma-Kate Mills I woke up to feed my baby and turned on the TV. I could not believe what my eyes were seeing. Terrible things were happening; people jumping from impossible heights, and when the towers came down, my heart sank for all those people trapped within. It was a horrible thing to watch live on TV, I felt so helpless. Any day can be your last. It makes you hold those you love tighter.

Allison C-k I woke up and my partner had put the TV on in the bedroom. I saw footage of a plane going into the towers and I asked him why he was watching a movie so early. He said it was the news and we sat on the bed together, speechless and was so very, very sad. We went into work very late; no-one asked questions and we all had tears whilst we talked about what was happening. It was such a sombre day.

Chris Sims I had just woken up in the truck at a small winery near Griffith, where I was to fill both tanker trailers to take to Margaret River in Western Australia. I always left the radio on the ABC turned down low while I slept as it provided white nose. Initially when I woke, I thought that there was some sort of science fiction radio play on; then it slowly dawned on me that it was a live broadcast. The enormity of what had happened took most of the day to hit me, and of course there was talk of little else on the CB. The world changed that day and it is very sad that it happened in the name of religion. My sympathy goes out to all those left who have to deal with their loss and the horror of it daily.

Brad Davis I was in Adelaide living with a man from New York. It was a scary night.

Mark Lance I was working an afternoon shift at the Mitsubishi engine plant at Lonsdale. I can remember hearing it as it was happening, broadcast over the radio. My dad said he woke up and mum was watching it on TV. He thought she was watching the towering inferno as it looked like a movie. Too unbelievable to think it was real. I got home at 4am to see it was dominating every TV channel and I watched in disbelief as the towers came down. We have a photo we took of the towers standing proud taken on a cruise around Manhattan Island in 1996. It is enlarged and hanging in our pool room.

Anne and Alan Carr My husband and I were returning to England, after having spent a glorious year in Victor. My husband had swapped duties, for the year, with another paramedic from the Victor Harbor ambulance station. We basically swapped lives for the year. We were very sad and upset to be leaving our amazing friends, that we had made there and were on a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, in a hotel beside the Petronas Twin Towers. It was the very early hours of the morning and I couldn't sleep. When it came on the CNN channel in the room, we were, as everyone else, in shock at what we were seeing. We had to fly back that night over Afghanistan, leaving at midnight. I remember watching them load our luggage onto the plane as we were watching the TV footage of the planes going through both the towers and then them collapsing. I can tell you it was the quietest flight we have been on. We came back into Heathrow to complete and utter bedlam, but were so grateful to be coming back to our family after not seeing them for over a year. We, as everyone else, thought that, this was going to be the beginning of the end, but knowing that nothing would ever be the same again.

Sara Bruce I was in the South Coast District Hospital very ill with a six-week-old baby. I remember the night duty nurses turning on the TV in the empty room next to me to watch the disaster unfold. They were in and out all night and not many of us patients could sleep. It was like a movie at first then the sad reality of it dawned on us. The world really hasn't been the same since.

You can leave your story in the comments box below. 

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