Right after 9/11 happened everyone had bumper stickers on their cars saying “Always Remember 9/11” or something to that effect. As if we could ever forget 9/11. If you asked me where I was on Feb. 9, 2003 I couldn’t tell you, or even July 22, 2005, I have no idea, but I know just where I was on Sept. 11, 2001.
Before the words “Al Qaeda” or “Osama Bin Laden” were in my vocabulary, I remember being at my best friend’s house that morning, in the bathroom blow drying our hair, half asleep from staying up all night talking, when we heard Katie’s mom say “Oh my God.” We came out of the bathroom and looked over the balcony railing right in time to watch the 2nd plane fly into the 2nd building-live-in real time. We stopped getting ready and went downstairs to figure out what the heck was going on. I don’t think I even finished blow drying my hair-which is a big deal when you are a senior in high school.
Katie and I got into our cars and went to school. I turned my radio on to hear the freaked out DJ saying that there was another plane that had just hit the Pentagon. I literally looked through my windshield up to the blue sky wondering if a plane was about to hit me in my little hyduai accent. We got to school and went into the building. Since very few teenagers watch The Today show before coming to school no one really even knew anything had happened. I remember telling some kid in the hall, who I never had talked to before or after, that planes were crashing into buildings in NYC. He said “Why?” and I said “I don’t know! Isn’t that crazy?!” It all seemed so exciting and interesting, but I had no idea how horrible it really was. We all saw what happened the rest of the day- buildings collapsing to the ground, people with dusty, white faces and clothes wandering through the street. There were some teachers who tried to do class as usual which I thought then, and now, was a big mistake. If they could do it over again I think it would be different.
I was so deeply effected by everything that happened, I don’t think I even ate all day. I watched way too many hours of TV and read every newspaper article. The worst was a picture I saw of some man in a suit and white shirt, tie flaping in the wind as he jumped from a window. Seeing that made it about individuals not just a mass of strangers. Individuals who have friends, families, are little league coaches and eat Burger King. People who woke up that morning probably in a rush, stressed out with the weight of their shoulders. How differently would each one had lived if they knew Sept. 11, 2001 would be their last?
Do you remember where you were on 9/11? Post it in the comments, I would love to hear your story.