Photo by ctblogger
September 11 2001 was a day I'm sure many residents of Danbury (as well as the nation) will never forget.
I remember that morning like it was yesterday. I woke up, made my usual cup of coffee, walked outside to my porch and saw what must have been the most vivid and bluest sky I've ever seen. As usual, I was running behind schedule and scrambling to get ready to work but thankfully I lived rather close to my job at the time.
While ironing my clothes, I was catching up with the morning news (I think I was flipping back between Good Morning America and the Today Show) and laughing at the thought of my friends goofing on me when I walk into the office late again since I told them I would in the office on time the day before.
I can recall reaching for the remote control and was in the process of shutting off my television when news broke that "something" hit one of the World Trade Center towers. I didn't think much of it at the time because who in theri right mind would think that someone would deliberately fly an airliner into one of the tallest buildings in the country.
While driving to work, while I usually listen to Stern in the morning, I tuned to 1010 WINS just to find out about whatever hit the tower...that's when I first learned that something serious happened and as a second plane at the other tower. By the time I made it to my job, the reality of the situation had already hit me...the country was under attack.
Work came to a complete standstill.
I walked into the office (at the time, I worked for a book publishing company) and everywhere I looked, I saw complete chaos. The internet completely shut down (the WTC was a major internet hub for communications), people were on their cell phones trying to get in touch with friends and loved ones who worked in the city. There was no way to get any information except for the radio (we had no TVs in the building) so people resorted to running outside and getting their news reports from car radios.
I remember the moment hearing that there was a major explosion at the first tower and my heart dropped as I realized that a friend of mine worked at the tower from time to time and none of my friends knew whether or not he was at the WTC on that day...he had a young son and a daughter on the way.
I remember the horrible feeling of emptiness, a dark feeling you get when someone close to you passes away. Everywhere I looked, I only saw people with blank expressions on their faces as many of my co-workers (if not all) knew someone who was working in that section of Manhattan.
As the day progressed, the day was full of various false alarms (which we didn't know at the time were false alarms) and I remember thinking “the hell with this crap”, packing up my things, and leaving work. There was no need to be at the job...most of the publishing industry is located in the section of New York City...a section of the city that's now a cloud of dust.
I couldn't get any work done...no one could get anything done on that day. My thoughts were on my friend (who I still didn't know was alive, lost, or dead) his family, and all those people who lost their lives in an instant. Driving around town, you could see that everyone had the same look of shock and disbelief on their faces. It was like, how could such a beautiful day turn into a nightmare?
I pulled over to the first bar I could find (knowing that they two things I needed: a television and beer), and it was there for the first time that I witness with my eyes what I only heard on the radio and it made the situation even worse. The only bright spot of that day was the phone call I received telling me that my friend didn't have to work in the city on that day but he lost a lot of colleagues who never made it out of the building.
That was a brief look at what I remember the most from that day and to be honest, I don't even know why I'm writing this for.
Maybe it's because the memory of that day is fresh in my mind as I watch the memorial service.
Maybe it's because that moment was a turning point in my life when I decided to get more politically active.
Maybe I just wanted to share my feelings with someone who going through the same emotions right now as we remember those who lost their lives years ago.
Whatever the case, I know in my heart that I'll always recall that experience on that terrible day on every September 11 for the rest of my life.
My heart will ALWAYS go out to all those who lost a loved on that horrible day in our country's history. I pray that none of us will never forget and pass on our experience to the next generation who will never know what the beautiful New York skyline looked prior to September 11, 2001.