Thursday, September 11, 2008


9/11. Up until 7 years ago, it was just another day. Today, 7 years have passed and today, so many people remember where they were during the worst terror attack on American soil.

On the morning of 9/11/01, I was going to work in NYC, thinking about how Craig & I were going to celebrate our first wedding anniversary the following week. My commute was nothing other than normal and I ran into a coworker on my two block walk up 18th street from 7th Avenue to 5th Avenue. I remember that there was alot of construction going on on 18th street, complete with jackhammers and alot of noise, which my coworker and I complained about to each other. We went into the building and made our way to our respective offices. Once I reached my office, I heard from a few people that a plane or a helicopter had crashed into the World Trade Center. I called my dad and asked if he had spoken to my brother who was working in the World Financial Center. They had spoken and my brother didn't know what it was, but word was that it was a private plane and he was going downstairs with some colleagues to check it out. Minutes later, we learned that it was a terrorist attack and were trying to put together information about what was going on.

Many employees from my company congregated in the main conference room, next to floor to ceiling windows that stared down 5th avenue right at the skyline, right at the World Trade Center. While we were able to watch the news reports on television, we were also able to watch right out our window. As another plane hit the second tower at 903am, I distrinctly remember a colleague muttering, "Are we living the movie Independence Day?"

As we were watching the towers that would soon fall, word came of another plane hitting the Pentagon. And another crashing in Pennsylvania. I remember questioning when all of these things were just going to stop.

I remember thinking about my brother and wondering where he was. Thinking about my cousin, an employee of Carr Futures, and wondering where he was. Thinking about my 90 year old grandmother sitting at her doctor's office in Florida wondering where we all were. Thinking about how I was soon going to realize how many people I knew who were in the towers who were hurt.

And then the towers fell. Landmarks of NYC that we had always taken for granted just tumbled. Watching them from the window - seeing them there one minute and then gone the next. At the time, I don't even think I realized how many people were also there one minute and then gone the next.

I remember thinking about how all of the doctors in NYC were rushing to the hospitals to help. And I remember seeing the newscasts of all of these medical personnel just waiting at the hospitals. Because the people that they rushed there to help, the hurt an injured, truly didn't exist. There was no one to help because almost all of those people had died.

As the day went on, my colleagues left the office and tried to get home. Craig walked up from his office downtown and we walked to Penn Station, catching the last train home. The train was eerily quiet, no one was talking. No one wanted to say anything about what had just happened, about what they had just witnessed. I remember a man sitting in a seat, covered in ash. Someone gave him a towel but no one could talk.

Once we got home, it was hard to watch the news but it was hard also not to watch the news. Our newscasters and radio personalities were reporting what was happening for their audiences. No jokes, nothing other than the facts. And the fact was that we had just experienced the worst terrorist attacks ever. In our city.

Being from NY and being in NYC over 9/11 was extremely difficult. Entire companies were wiped out in seconds. People were out canvassing the city for their loved ones. It was like watching a movie, only it was 100% for real.

Today, 7 years later, people remember. And people want to talk about it. They want to remember where they were, remember those they loved and remember those they lost, and make sure that no one ever forgets.

Today the New York Post and the New York Times did not have anything on their covers about remembering 9/11. The message that sent? Move on. Of course people will continue with their lives but that doesn't mean we need to forget. We can't ever forget that this happened. We can't ever forget the people whose lives were lost. People who just got up that day to go to work like it was any other day, people who rushed to help the injured, people on the planes that acted like heroes, trying to save themselves and others.

I heard this morning that the state of Missouri had sent a gift to the FDNY after September 11 with a note talking about the 343 firefighters that we lost that day and how in the history of the entire state of Missouri to date they had not lost 343 firefighters in the line of duty. We lost those men in one day.

We'll never forget 9/11 or the people we lost. To all of our members of the FDNY and NYPD, families of those in the WTC, the Pentagon and on the airplanes, we will never forget.

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