I was 20 years old on September 11th, 2001. It was a Tuesday. I had class at 9:00am but was running late that morning. On my commute in I was listening to Howard Stern, my usual early entertainment. This was before Sirius Radio existed and Stern was on a local station here in Philly, either 93.3WMMR or 94.1WYSP I can’t remember.
Stern was interviewing Pamela Anderson. I know, it was very educational radio. She was actually talking about her involvement with PETA, if I remember correctly that was the first I learned that she was a vegetarian. At 8:49am there was an interruption in the interview and Howard said he just got word that a plane had struck the Twin Towers a few minutes ago, right in New York City where they were broadcasting from. He saw the smoke from his window. was just a plane crash, not sure why, but maybe something went wrong with the aircraft? A fluke?
At 9:03am he reported that another plane had hit. There was some panic in Howard Sterns voice. Seriousness. I never heard him like this over the airways. I couldn’t even wrap my head around the magnitude of what was happening at that moment. There was some idiot caller on the line making a joke about it, I’ll never forget it. Howard let him have it and hung up on him; this guy obviously didn’t get it and I wonder what he thought of himself at the end of that day.
I still did not even comprehend that we were under attack. Terrorism. I decided to put on the local news station KYW1060. They were reporting the same thing…
I walked into my class, there were only a few minutes left before it was over. I would have been only 10 minutes late but I was listening to the radio in the parking lot, still in shock. The teacher looked at me, slightly annoyed when I got to my seat. Obviously no one had heard. My gut told me to share what I knew with my class but I still didn’t really comprehend the attack. I whispered to my friend, Aaron that I just heard two planes had hit the Twin Towers in New York City. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped. I decided not to share it with everyone at that point. I think my teacher heard me, she had a curious and concerned look on her face but never confronted me. I didn’t want to put anyone into panic when I didn’t even really know the details of what was happening.
My next class was Hatha Yoga. All I wanted to do was go home and be with my family. The teacher had the radio on, and in a very serene voice told all of us to just sit on our mats, and in so many words said to pray for those in New York City. She encouraged us to write down our feelings in a journal we had to keep for class. Everyone seemed like they were feeling the same as me…in shock. Not really understanding or believing how serious it really was. We never practiced yoga that day.
School let out early and there was a lot of traffic. A lot. It took me over an hour and a half to get home when I lived about 20 minutes away from my college. I tried getting through to my mom on my cell phone but the lines were all busy. No one could get through to anyone. I heard that a plane had hit the Pentagon. It finally hit me what was happening as I listening to the reporters on the radio. All I remember is breaking down crying. The emotions hit me. Hard.
When I finally got home my entire family was home. They were waiting for me to arrive. My mom just kept saying she wanted us all there and never wanted us to leave or be apart. CNN was on the television we were all crying watching the news. When Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania it really hit home. Shanksville was pretty far from where we live, but the mere fact that there were four planes involved in this was rattling. How many more had terrorists? This was unreal.
The rest of the day was a blur. All I know is I remember feeling so much sorrow for people on those planes. Those working at the Twin Towers. The families. The children. The people whose lives had been shattered. For Americans in general. It was a sad day.
The next night my dad sat out on the front step holding a candle. As I went down my street there were more people on their porches, in silence, holding a single candle. We lived on a main road growing up and candlelight lit up the street going all the way down. Tears filled up in my eyes. Everyone seemed to be a little bit nicer, kind, everywhere you went. It was sad that it took a tragedy for us to appreciate one another more.
There were a lot of heroes born that day. Police men and women, firefighters, volunteers. Soldiers were born, many men and women decided that they wanted to serve their country alongside the other brave men and women in the military.
I was starting a new part-time job that week working for a sports therapy chiropractor’s office located in a fitness club. On September 12th I had to drive to Cinnaminson, New Jersey to meet with the owners of the company and my mom didn’t want me to go. I tried to reschedule, but using the “my mom doesn’t want me to drive north and over a bridge after a terrorist attack” excuse wasn’t going over well with my soon to be boss. I still can’t believe he didn’t let me reschedule that meeting. He was eager for me to start and I couldn’t until the paperwork was finished.
One of the trainers in the gym had a brother that was killed. He worked in one of the towers. A patient of ours and his wife drove up to New York several times to help out at ground zero. It was all anyone talked about for months and months after the attack. It’s unbelievable that it’s been ten years already.
Today, I am remembering it like it was yesterday. My heart is aching again for the families, the children, the Americans affected by the attack on American September 11th, 2001. I am thankful for all of the heroes that served those in need, and to those that risked their lives for the safety and freedom we have always known as Americans. For the other countries that came together to support us. I will never forget.
“This is a day when all Americans from every
walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and
peace. America has stood down enemies
before, and we will do so this time. None of us
will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to
defend freedom and all that is good and just in
our world. Thank you. Good night, and God
bless America.” -President George W. Bush September 11, 2001
* Where were you on this day ten years ago
when you heard the news? *
Check it out:
Today, run, walk, hike or biking in remembrance of the lives lost as a result of 9/11. Team RWB organization dedicated to enriching the lives of wounded veterans and their families, is organizing a “moving tribute” today, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. “We’re encouraging people to not only go outdoors and to do something to elevate your heart rate,” says Mike Erwin, an Army Captain and avid runner who started the charity a year ago, “but also the bigger reason is we want people to use that time as a chance to reflect upon the day.
Ella and I will be out there today, dedicating our walk…