It pains me to think that school age children do not know the gravity of this day, but have distanced themselves from it. Maybe it’s because I was alive during this time, and old enough to remember. I was 24 on this day 14 years ago.
The morning of September 11, 2001, I was living with my sisters. We helped each other in the morning, getting ready for work. Today, it was my elder sister. My younger sister took her to work at Old Navy that morning. She worked in shipping and receiving, which meant a 6:30 a.m. start time. We said goodbye for the day, and off they went. I had the day off, so I tried to go back to sleep. I could not go back to sleep. (I did not know it at the time, but when I cannot relax, something major is going on.) My younger sister came back in, crying. She said planes had hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. She finished by saying, “I am not kidding.” She was too devastated to be kidding. The news was just unbelievable. We did not have TV at the time, so we turned on the radio. One of the towers had already fallen by the time we turned it on, so we could only hear as the other one fell.
The reporting was chaotic. At one point, a reporter said that eight planes had been hijacked. Fortunately, it was reduced down to the four we know of. One plane had mysteriously crashed in the middle of Pennsylvania, so God only knows where that plane was being aimed. We picked up my sister after her store was closed, and I had the day off, so we were all together, comforting and supporting each other as sisters could. When my nephew was picked up, we all went to dinner at where I worked, which was unusually quiet for such a loud, boisterous place. Eventually, we made it to the Drug Emporium, where they had CNN on – and the plane hitting the second tower on loop. It threw my nephew into a scared fit. He went to his junior football practice, where the coach told them of his place in the Army Reserve, and his decision to go if needed. (Fortunately, he never did.)
In the days to follow, things were surreal. We all went to American rallies, vigils, we got TV so we watched CNN all the time for three weeks-at least I did. The “support America” haze lasted for an entire year afterwards, even until September 11, 2002. My boyfriend at the time even started a honk-your-horn rally over the freeway. It was so strange living in this particular haze, because we did not seem to be in need ot if before. Maybe what I’m trying to say is, when history happens before your eyes, it’s so different from seeing it on a page.