Thursday, September 11, 2008

I remember 9.11.01

I remember many things about September 11, 2001.

I remember walking to the train station in the morning and thinking what a beautiful day it was, with its clear blue sky and cool temperature.

I remember sitting on the train, listening to the radio and looking out the window just moments after the first plane hit the North Tower and wondering what had just happened.

I remember the train conductor coming on the public address system and, in a light mannered way, saying "ladies and gentleman, if you look out the right side of the train, you'll see the World Trade Center on fire."

I remember, just before losing radio reception going into the tunnel under the Hudson River, hearing that a plane had flown into the North Tower.

I remember getting to Penn Station and walking out to the street just as the second plane hit, hearing about it live on the radio and hearing the DJ say over and over "we're being attacked!"

I remember getting to my office in Times Square and the utter silence of people in the lobby and elevators. I remember turning on the TV in the conference room across from my office and watching the coverage with some of my co-workers.

I remember hearing that the Pentagon was on fire.

I remember looking out the window of a colleague's office and watching live, with my own eyes, not on TV, as each of the towers collapsed.

I remember walking the streets of New York just hours later and I remember the near total silence, aside from emergency vehicles. The other people on the street didn't talk. They just stared blankly forward. Some crying.

I remember finally getting on a train back to New Jersey and sitting next to a woman who just started to cry. I remember holding her hand but not saying anything. I remember not being able to think of anything to say.

I remember watching the fire and smoke from the train, just like I had in the morning when the buildings were still standing.

I remember the days and weeks after and remember seeing the "missing" posters all over the city. On every light post. On every subway. On any surface that someone could post a flyer.

I remember reading as many of those posters as I could, knowing that it was unlikely that any of the people I read about would be found alive.

I remember being scared. I remember being angry. I remember wondering if I could help.

I remember all those things. But most of all, I remember the almost 3000 people who died seven years ago today just because they were Americans and just because they went to work. I remember their families and the loved ones that they left behind.

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