As I sit here watching the news and listen to all the names of all the people we've lost on 9/11, I can't stop my tears from coming.
Where was I on the morning of 9/11?
I was on a line for a concert that I really wanted to be in front for. It was standing room only and to make sure I was in front, me and a couple of my friends slept outside on the line along with about thirty other people.
I remember at about 6:30 am – 7:00 am, my best friend Nicole and I decided we wanted to take a walk to find something to eat. We walked a couple of blocks and we really couldn’t find a place serving breakfast sandwiches or a diner nearby. So we stopped and asked some random guy in the street if he knew where the nearest store was that we can find something to eat. He pointed us in the direction of a little store on the next street.
We get there we order our food; we eat and decide we wanted to keep walking for a bit longer. We walked maybe five more blocks, and I don’t know what happened, but Nicole and I decided that we wanted to go back to that store for something else (I can’t remember what now) and we turned around and started walking back. On our way back we NEVER found that store. We started freaking out saying we just missed it and continued for about another half an hour trying to find this store. We never did. We ran back to the girls and decided we needed to tell the girls what happened and what a weird morning. We took our seats and shortly after that everyone’s phone went off with the news about the first plane hitting. We were all in shock and thinking what a horrible accident. We didn’t know what to do.
When the second plane hit, we knew it wasn’t an accident. I remember a couple of us ran to the New Yorker Hotel and we were watching the news as they kept replaying it all. When the first tour fell, it just didn't seem real to me. I mean, it was New York City; I’ve lived there practically my whole life and nothing this bad has ever happened. To me it just wasn’t happening. I remember even laughing at times like “Oh my gosh, did you see that.” I just didn’t believe it was happening.
When it finally hit me, I realized that I needed to get out of Manhattan. What if more things were to come? That is all I kept thinking about. The trains weren’t running, buses weren’t working in that specific area. I had no idea how I was going to get home and lots of crazy thoughts were running through my head. I thought the whole city was under attack and I was never going to make it home to my mother and siblings. We must have walked close to fifty blocks to a friend’s house and from there we were finally able to get home. I ran in the door and hugged my mother and I remember the look of relief on her face that I was okay.
I fell asleep and sometime in the middle of the night I woke up and my mother must have left the news on because the first things I see are the twin towers being hit over and over again. That’s when I cried. I cried so hard because I realized it was real. The towers fell, people died, America was hurt. I climbed in bed with my mother and she just hugged me back to sleep.
This is how I remember 9/11.
A part of me is proud that I got to live through a time that has made history, but another part of me is so sad. I think about all those family members who received a call that morning from their loved ones saying goodbye. I think about the people who jumped out the windows, those who were only a block away running for their lives when the building started to fall. I also think about what those people were thinking at that very moment. Not only the ones we lost, but those who were home trying to reach their loved ones. It brings tears to my eyes. I know The World Trade Center wasn’t the only place that was hit, but it was the biggest hit of all and where we lost a lot of people.
May their souls rest in peace.
Take a second today and light a white candle in memory of 9/11.