9/11 is always a rough day, and I wrote a post on my own “where was I during…”
Each year when this day approaches, I am always filled with mixed emotions: anger, sadness, and maybe a little pride because I am an American.
I remember having trouble sleeping the night before. I felt the urge in my heart to PRAY, but I didn’t know what to pray for. When my alarm went off at 6 a.m., I rolled out of bed to get ready for school. After I put my contacts in I saw a black spider crawling down the wall. I freaked out a little, but I took care of him. Then after I was finishing up in the shower, I saw another spider hanging out on the shower curtain. I slapped my hand over my mouth to keep from screaming. Talk about having the eebie geebies, the willies, chills…regardless of what you call it, I felt it.
At my high school, classes started at 7:30. (I was in 11th grade.) My first two classes that morning were Physics. During second period, we were outside on our track doing a lab. Suddenly, we heard this noise that wasn’t very loud, but strange enough that got everyone’s attention. I remember my classmates asking our Physics teacher: “Did you hear that? What was that noise?” We all assumed that what we heard was a car accident. Well we were wrong.
Approximately an hour and a half later, I was sitting in math class watching the clock tick. I was ready for lunch. Our principal came over the loud speaker and told us that the twin towers had been hit. At first we didn’t comprehend what he said. I remember thinking: “The twin towers? How is that possible?” A friend of mine (who was in my Physics class) said: “Oh my gosh! That’s the noise we heard when we were outside!” I didn’t think it was possible, but our school’s not all that far away from Manhattan. Whether that really was the explanation or a car wreck (none were reported) I’ll never know.
Our principal told us not to panic, and the screens in the auditoriums would have the news projected on them so we could watch what was going on. The bell rang for lunch and a bunch of us grabbed our lunches, and headed to the auditorium. As soon as I got there, I saw the second tower start to collapse. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…I could have sworn we were watching a movie. Then we heard about the Pentagon. Then there was chaos. A lot of my friends & classmates had parents & family members who worked or lived in the city. Cell phone calls didn’t always go through. There was another announcement that we were going to have an emergency dismissal. I don’t recall at that point we knew it was a terrorist attack.
My brother and I arrived home not knowing what to think. We walked into my house and we found my mom glued to the television. The cameras pulled back from the towers and you could see the Statue of Liberty with smoke blowing around her. I lost it. I couldn’t help the tears. I felt so sad for the people who were killed and for the families who lost loved ones. I felt bad for the police officers, EMTs, firemen, and any and all emergency responders who did what they had to do.
A couple of years later, I got a job working for a law firm in Manhattan. I had to take the train to Hoboken, NJ. From there, I took a subway to the World Trade Center. It’d be my first time visiting Ground Zero since the attacks. When the subway came out from the tunnel and went around, I could see some of the damage. My jaw dropped. It was so strange to not see the towers standing there, even though some time had past.
My heart and prayers go out to all those who are suffering on this day. I can’t imagine the pain, the grief, the anger.