And this is mine....
At the time, I was still in law school, doing my last year. My law school is right near the World Trade Center, and it was common for students to take the train to the WTC station and walk to school or go there for lunch or just hang out. I had a 9 am class that day, but decided not go since I wanted to relax and prepare for a job interview that I had around noon. So instead, I went to the gym and when I got home, my phone was ringing like crazy. It was the hubs saying go watch the news.
And we all know what the news was. At that point, the second plane just hit the second tower and I watched the TV as if in a trance, thinking that this all looked like just some weird movie. It was so surreal. They showed live footage of what was happening below ground –black dust everywhere; people running and crying; utter chaos. Through the TV, I saw the twin towers collapse and it didn’t seem real despite the words “LIVE” being displayed over and over again.
I couldn’t help but feel both happy and sad that I decided not to go to my first class that day. What if I was there?! I would’ve certainly panicked, I’m sure. And I would’ve certainly joined the droves of people who had to walk miles and miles to get back home again. I would have witnessed horrible things that I would certainly remember.
And the hubs and I felt very relieved that he decided not to accept a job at a company whose offices occupied the 94th - 100th floors of 1 World Trade Center. I would’ve been a very young widow indeed, since we just got married that June 2001.
September 11 was such an unbelievable day. I was bawling my eyes out watching the news, and felt so terrible for all the innocent lives lost. The WTC, the Pentagon, United 93. I remember being very scared. I also felt guilt for feeling relieved that I was spared all that. So many people were not so lucky. I’m not even going to talk about the political and negative ramifications of this event, but suffice it to say, it changed everything.
But 9/11 did result in a lot of positive effects –people learned to be kind again to one another; people took pride in their country and evaluated their civic duties; people learned to be strong and persevere. People finally stopped taking things for granted.
My school shut down for 3 weeks after that event (our power lines were affected and we had no electricity or water for a bit, I was told) and it certainly gave me time to reflect about my life and what I should be thankful for. This is the reason why I went out and bought myself a guitar and learned to play it all over again.
Bottom line is that 9/11 will be a day to be remembered for eternity. To this day, I get teary-eyed when I read people’s accounts of survival and the stories of loss and tragedy among other things. After that day, I didn’t step foot south of Chambers Street for a long time. In fact, it took me about 3 years to visit that site despite it being only 7 blocks away from my school.
I don't know when my next visit will be, but I don't need to see it to remember.
Labels: musings/personal stories