Today is a day of great day of reflection. Where were you when the planes hit the twin towers?
I remember the day vividly. I had been at my job as an accounting intern for a major retailer in Wisconsin for 9 days and one of my co-workers said “A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center”. I, who had never been to New York at that point was like “huh?” so I got online and it was everywhere. We all were online trying to figure out what happened, proceeded to crash the internet at our company and then we had heard about the second plane. Our heads were spinning not because we feared that somebody we knew or anybody got hurt it was more. “What the heck is going on?” I personally didn’t give much thought about the Pentagon and Pennsylvania planes the concern in the Midwest was that they were coming for the Sears Tower in Chicago next; they weren’t. The damage was done in East and when the towers fell it was like “holy crap”. They let us leave early from work, I was like “ok but I have to go to school anyway”. So I called my mom once I got home, she was at the hospital with my sister who was in the process of having her first baby and it wasn’t pretty. So I had asked do you want me to come to the hospital or should I go to school. My mom said stay away so I went to school.
I went to my night accounting class and students were mad that we had class. I was kind of happy for the distraction of journal entries. My teacher was very matter of fact (he was awesome by the way) “If you want to leave, I understand but I have a syllabus to get through so we must press on” We did a moment of silence for everyone involved and we pressed on.
12:16am 09/12 my Nephew was born and it was the first step toward moving forward. A couple of days later after my sister had come home from the hospital there were all of the candle light vigils for everybody involved in the attacks and I remember driving her around so we could check it out in her urban neighborhood. It was unbelievable. But, I still didn’t understand the impact of what happened.
Fast forward 4 years to 2005…I FINALLY got to visit New York. I was in Manhattan a week and got to go to “Ground Zero”. I was expecting more but all it was was a fence, some pictures with a timeline and very large hole in the ground. I didn’t understand why they hadn’t done more work. Why wasn’t this cleaned up yet? It had been four years.
This was one of the only pictures I took from that visit.
Fast forward to 2010. I meet my husband. I was excited because he was from New York and had seen the original towers and every year on 9/11 he watches the documentary films about the day. 2010 was the first year I watched them with him and I was slightly devastated. The news in Wisconsin did this day no justice. I had no idea how many people put their lives on the line and how many people who were just going to work that day while they were on mass transit or in their cars realized that they would never go home. How many children lost a parent, maybe both their parents. How many first respondors came to help so unselfishly and tried to save as many people as they could and many losing their own life in the process.
Fast forward 5 years to 2015. I am working in Jersey City, just across the Hudson River from the World Trade Center. I get off the train in Hoboken NJ. I walk every day where some of the video was shot in those documentaries. I look at the new building standing tall and the others that are going up around it and feel a sense of hope, but I also am very sad and truly feel the impact of that day. I think every day, “Damn that building is big” and try to put the day into perspective and it’s hard. There area around One World Trade is so built up now it’s pretty Neat to see. Hard to remember that a lot of those buildings weren’t there when I had visited 11 years earlier.
Pictures from Hoboken, NJ
Picture from the 27th floor of the building where I work in Jersey City, NJ
Never Forget this day. Remember where you were, remember to hug your friends and family a little harder today!!!