Karlie Rogers

posted 12 September 2007

The life of Karlie Rogers had only the briefest of intersections with mine. Introduced as my brother's girlfriend, she came to stay with our family in Trinidad in August of 1998. My memories of her are mainly of her making corny jokes -- she fitted right in with my family -- and the sound of her laughter. And that's all. I didn't know her well, and after she and my brother broke up we didn't stay in touch.

On September 11th 2001, Karlie was in the north tower. We can never be sure, but the location of her office means that she probably died instantly, when the first plane hit. Having spent some time reading accounts of the conditions and the panic in the tower in the aftermath of the collision, I hope that it's true.

She was not, really, a historically significant person. Just six years later, records of her are already beginning to fade from the Internet: she is in the list of UK victims; there are some articles of memorial, including two small, blurry photos which I nevertheless find haunting. And there are any number of huge, impersonal online memorials to all the victims, set up by obviously well-meaning people.

There are no deep, important lessons to be learned from her death. It was senseless, tragic, and perhaps worse, entirely random. No-one bore her any animosity; she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But important or not, she was a good person, and I remember her, with fondness and with sadness. And that is all there is to say.