Saturday, September 10, 2011

Never Forget

It's hard to believe it has been 10 years. I remember that day as if it happened yesterday.

Back in the 80s, I lived close to NYC and the WTC was the place to work. I worked for a few different corporations in those buildings. I remember when I worked in Building 2. The Accounts payable department of Moller Steamship was in a corner office, overlooking the Vista Hotel and the Hudson River. We would joke about what we would do if one of the small planes, that constantly flew around the area, had radar problems and crashed into our office.

In September 2001, I worked part-time in a deli and lived 60 miles from The Big Apple. We didn't have television at the deli but we had a radio. The music was interrupted by special reports of a plane crashing into Building 1 of the World Trade Center. I remembered how the accounts payable office had joked about that very thing and I felt horrible. When the second plane crashed into Building 2, we all knew this wasn't an accident. Customers came into the deli and relayed reports and images they had seen on television. When the Pentagon was attacked, we deli workers panicked and held our breath when the report of the plane flying over Pennsylvania came over the airwaves. Everyone debated whether or not the military would shoot down the plane.

When I left work, we tried to contact our family who lived and worked in the area. Phone lines were busy and we waited hours to hear from our loved ones who were thankfully, safe.

At the time, my daughter, Amanda, was 13 years old. Of course, the school had gathered all the children together and told them what had happened. I remember her bewildered face as our family watched television that night. Who knew that 6 years later, she would join the US Marines?

We were stunned. We were in shock. We were terrified. And we were furious. I remember thinking, "Who doesn't like the United States?" Boy, was I naive. Political bullshit, aside, the attacks on the World Trade Center hit me hard. I stared at the television for days and nights, crying my eyes out. I wanted to go to the site and help but realistically, I knew I shouldn't and couldn't.

I remember how quiet the skies became when they restricted flight and I also vividly remember how patriotic the nation became. Everyone flew the American flag. People were friendly, sympathetic, and compassionate. We all came together as a nation and every year we make sure that nobody EVER forgets what happened. 9/11 was a rude awakening and 3,497 people died.