Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where Were You?

It seems unbelievable that six years has passed since this horrible tragedy occured. Jake was just talking to a fellow employee and they were trying to recall where they were and how old they were when the Challenger explosion happened in 1986. I wonder if twenty years down the road, we'll be the same about 09/11?

I was living with my parents again in 2001. At the time I didn't have a full time job and was substitute teaching. There aren't many subbing positions in September when school first starts so I had nothing lined up for the 11th. I woke up that day between 10 and 11 am. When I came downstairs I checked the answering machine to find an odd message from Jake telling me that he was ok, and they were just leaving Baltimore. At the time, Jake was living in Pa-but work had him in Maryland doing installations at a police department. I didn't understand what his message meant. My sister had also left a message asking if Jake was ok. The phone rang, it was my sister calling again. I asked her what the heck was going on and she said, "You mean you don't know? Some a$$hole terrorists crashed planes into New York City!" I couldn't believe it. What?! Are you kidding? "Turn on the tv," she said, "it's all over the news."

I turned on the tv and saw the images and I started crying. It was horrible. I got off the phone with my sister and tried calling Jake. I had to keep dialing over and over because everyone was trying to contact their loved ones and the phone lines were clogged and I couldn't get through. Finally he called me and described what happened in Baltimore. Apparently they also have a World Trade Center there and without knowing what fully happened, panic set in and the police wanted to try and protect their city. Jake said it was crazy there as people were all over the streets and the cops were all over the place in riot gear and guns. The roads and highways were also jammed with people trying to leave Baltimore and it took double the time to get back to PA. I wondered if my cousin, some close family friends, and my dear friend Kelly were ok. They all lived in/near NYC and worked there.

Remembering all of this still gives me goosebumps. Six years later there are still people feeling the effects of this disaster. Not only did people lose loved ones, but there are people who are getting sick from inhaling the dust on that day, people who are struggling to get aid from the government, and people whose loved ones are still unaccounted for. It is crazy! How did this happen? Are we safe from it happening again?

I imagine one day James will learn about this day in school. It's hard to believe we'll be able to tell him, "I remember that day."


kelly said...

yep, i lived in nyc at the time. the weekend prior my atm card had been eaten by the machine in the hsbc bank at union square. i was told it'd be available to be picked up on tuesday morning, so i planned to be late to work (which normally started at 9). i got my car, got back on the subway, transferred at the canal street station, and, on the j/m/z line headed into brooklyn, i saw a tower on fire. a guy alerted the few of us on the train to the sight. we had no idea what was happening, of course, so i sat back down... i didn't want to rubberneck. the guy started screaming again and sure enough, the other tower was exploding. i went to work in a daze and a haze. we were listening to the radio, a station that was highly excitable. (i worked at a soup kitchen.) we made the decision to go out into the field that day (at a remote site to serve food), but after about 30 mins. out, the director called us back in. my co-worker drove to work that day, and he drove me home (through brooklyn and into queens). i lived in a group house and fielded a lot of calls... none of us even had cell phones at the time. it was a very scary time... i went to work the next day, and i think i was in denial about the entire situation.

Paul said...

I was in the Dallas airport. Obviously, my flight was cancelled.