Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11

Who could forget where they were and what they were doing when the 9/11 events unfolded.

I was a college senior, getting ready for work when the first plane hit. Totally oblivious to the news, I actually had my TV on one of those morning shows but had the sound on mute while I had my stereo going. I remember seeing a tower on fire but assumed people were evaluating and everything would be fine. I had no idea what was going on.

I get out the shower and see they are still showing this fire and I'm actually thinking, fire, evacuation, big deal. Then while I'm brushing my hair I see a plane out of the corner of the screen come of of nowhere and strike the building and explode. But I'm so lost I'm thinking that plane (which was the 2nd) was hitting the building that appeared to be to fire (which was the first tower struck). I finally turn down the music and turn up the TV. It's pandemonium. I'm confused, how could a plane just hit a very large building like that. I run into the living room where my father was glued to the TV and ask him what was going on. And he was the first to say "It's a terrorist attack". I'm still lost and really not grasping the magnitude of what's happening but I soon start to realize this is big. Two planes have hit two buildings! Crazy! I finish getting dressed and am about to leave when the news reporter's are questioning whether the towers could collapse. But they dismiss that, stating those are sound buildings and I leave for work still believing that most people have gotten out and that this will be over soon.

But its all over the radio and there is already talk of the large amounts of people trapped and unable to escape.

I get to my mall job and soon as I get there my co-worker tells me tower one has collapsed. What! I'm thinking how the hell does a building just collapse. And because I didn't actually see in on TV yet, I assumed it went down horizontally like a log. I'm terrified for the people outside and around it, still not grasping that there still was many people still inside. I'm stupefied. My co-workers scramble around trying to open the store but also listen out on the radio for more news. We hear there are more planes hijacked and soon airports everywhere start shutting down. Everything starts shutting down. I try and help the few customers that came into the store while listening for news. The Pentagon is hit. There's a 4th plane. People are buzzing that that plane would get shot down. Then the rumors start, Baltimore City is shutting down. The metro is shitting down. They're closing 695 and 83 and all major roads. I don't know what to believe but I'm still staying calm since I don't know the facts. Then the mall security came running by, shouting and brought the first wave of panic through me. he yelled "The mall is closing! The mall is closing!" And I then began to panic. They never closed the mall.

Everybody shut down and flocked to their cars and hit the roads where it seemed the entire county was trying to get home themselves. I remember stepping out in the warm September sunshine and remarked how beautiful and sunny it was and how it felt like a whole day had gone by when at this point it was only about 11am. I drove home worried about my mom who took the metro home and waiting for her with my father. She did get home fine and we sat in front of the TV and watched the news the rest of the day. I then got to see all the footage I'd missed earlier. Of the planes striking both towers, of the bystanders, of the people jumping, the towers then crumbling one by one and people everywhere running for cover. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever saw. Two gigantic towers collapsing into nothing. I couldn't believe my eyes. Who could.

I stayed glued to the news that night for weeks and weeks on, hoping that more people would be pulled from the rubble. They were very few. My niece who must have been in middle school called on on 9/11 after schools were dismissed and said her teacher told her that we were witnessing history in the making and she didn't understand what that meant. I just told her that we'd be talking about this and remembering this day for a long, long time; that what we'd just witnessed would become a major part of American history and that none of us will forget where we were or what we were doing on that day.

Six months later, my father and I watched the documentary by two French brothers who were in the tower when it collapsed and had incredible footage of the collapse from the inside. It was one of the most poignant films I'd ever seen and I highly, highly recommend it.

Then on the one-year anniversary, I had off from work and I laid on the couch watching news coverage and listened to them call out every name of every victim lost. It wasn't much but a small thing I could do to help remember them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw that film your talking about. It was very good.