Thursday, September 11, 2008

9-11-08: Seven Years On

Something I think is a really fitting thing to do on a day like today, the anniversary of a tragedy, is to try to recall the day the best that you can. I think it helps to get you back into the mindset, which helps you remember what the world was like then and what it is like now.

I was a junior in high school on September 11th, 2001. I remember the day quite vividly. I was in school, and was hanging around with a few friends during the 10-minute break we got in the middle of the morning after 2nd period. One of my friends came up and said, not in a panic but more in an informative tone, "Hey did you guys hear a plane crashed into World Trade?"

At first we thought it was just a small plane. It wasn't until later in the day, after about another hour, that we found out the disturbing truth. I remember sitting through a class where the teacher just had us watch TV. We walked in and he said "This is more important than anything I could teach you today." It was surreal watching the images.

My mother worked in the city at the time, up in Mid-Town on the corner of 42nd St and 6th Ave, just over 3 miles from World Trade. She was at a meeting that morning with her boss, when some one came in to tell them that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. They went into another conference room and watched the smoke billow up from the first tower. Then, they saw another plane approaching. They thought it was a military plane, then to their absolute shock they saw it hit the second tower. She doesn't really like to talk about it.

After that happened, they evacuated her building and she walked for miles, in her work shoes / heels, all the way to Queens to her friend's house, where she stayed the night. She called home, which was very good. She came home the next day. I just remember being so happy to see her OK. We live about 40 miles away from the city, and a lot of families in town work in Manhattan. Fortunately, no one in town died in the attack, though many lost friends and co-workers.

A lot has changed since then, but I try not to let the change get in the way of remembering that day. It caused a lot of people to look inward and realize how patriotic many Americans are, and how lucky we are. But nothing can ever wipe away what those monsters did, and I hope to God that they're burning in Hell.

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