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Remembering….

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:

MOVING TRIBUTE

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…

 

XO

-L

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26 Comments

  • Reply Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    What a touching post and thank you for sharing your story, Laury! Scott and I had just moved across the country together, knew no one, and only had each other. It was soooo scary & surreal, even more so b/c we literally had just moved across the country to start our life together and had no friends or family in our new area making the whole thing even more frightening!

    September 11, 2011 at 7:16 am
    • Reply Laury

      Thank you, Averie. That is scary, especially not knowing what was going on!

      September 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm
  • Reply Holly @ The Runny Egg

    Laurie that day was so strange and scary — I was in my 2nd week of college and I remember one of my prof’s telling us that he got a phone call that a plane had gone down in NYC and we should all stand in silence for anyone who was hurt. He didn’t (and we didn’t) know that it was a deliberate attack and that the plane had hit one of the towers. Afterward, I was walking around campus when suddenly people were running around putting up signs that the campus was closed and that we should all go home. I rode the bus home and heard bits and pieces from people talking, but I still had no clue what was going on.

    When I got home, my mom met me outside and she cried for a long time. When she told me what happened I couldn’t believe it!

    I cannot believe it has been 10 years already.

    September 11, 2011 at 8:12 am
    • Reply laury

      I know…it affected us all that way it seems

      September 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner

    Thank you for sharing your story! I remember it like it was yesterday also…I was a senior in high school…in 2nd period, chorus when I found out. By 7th period my parents (and many others) had come to pick us up from school. We drove to the next town that overlooks the city skyline and could see the smoke and the bare space where the towers used to be. I grew up in a town less than a half an hour outside the city and everyone knew someone affected by the attack.

    September 11, 2011 at 8:31 am
    • Reply laury

      Wow, Keri. That is really crazy. That’s right…you are up north so you were close!

      September 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply jen

    i was also listening to howard stern that day, on my way to class, math for elementary school teachers. i remember thinking at first, “ph no, poor pilot, must have had a heart attack or something, and lost control of the plane.” i also heard the idiot caller, and felt a new respect for howard stern that day. i remember it taking a long time to realize that this was no accident. i didnt see any of this on tv, since i had class all day, but i do remember not paying the least bit of attention to any prof. said .

    i have to say im really emotional about it today, and i dont remember even crying much when it actually happened. today in church our priest tried to share his story with us (he was there), but broek doewn crying and couldnt go on. the uncertaincy that we all feel i think is the worst. 10 years later and i still dont understand how people can hate that much. i also hate knowing that the issues can never be resolved. my thoughts and prayers go out to so many today and always. to those who died, who were heroes, who had family and friends involved. also, for those who are constantly feel under attack bc they share the same race as the terrorists. i have a friend who doesnt even want to leave hsi house today bc he is from a middle eastern descent. thank you for sharig your story laurey, and for letting us share too!

    September 11, 2011 at 10:09 am
    • Reply laury

      Wow..how about that! He did do a really nice job covering it. He was right there! I was very emotional all day too. I was glued to CNN from 8am on then we watched the firefighter special on ABC. What a sad day.

      September 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm
  • Reply jen

    I was also 20, taking classes at night and woke up and put the tv on and the 1st plane must have just hit 10 mins before and I was in shock at seeing the tower burning. at the time it was not known it was an attack, I can’t remmember who called who but I was on the phone with my BFF, she had just had a baby in aug. Well the 2nd plane hits and thats when they start to figure out whats going on. My friend and I were in shcok but freaking out at the same time, I told her I would call her back and called my mom at work and she had no idea(she worked in a daycare) I told her if they had a radio to put it on. My dad worked in boston and I remmember being afraid because they started to evacluate since the planes came from boston, my dad works for MIT which does a lot of stuff with the military such as research so they were afraid they could be a target. The rest of the day is also a blur, after this I remembered my family was scared because my older brother had joined the army just a year before and my mom was afraid he was gonna be called to war. It does not feel like it happen 10 years ago it still feels like yesterday but I think we will always have that feeling. My heart and prayers go out to all those who lost loved ones. One of the pilots lived a few towns over from were I now live and I think his children were in high school at the time, so this has to be a very hard day for them and I pray they get through it.

    September 11, 2011 at 11:27 am
    • Reply laury

      Me too..very hard day. It was tough seeing all the families and kids that never really knew their mom or dad because they were so young when it happened.

      September 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm
  • Reply chelsea

    I did a 5k today 🙂 It was for recovery. There was also a 5k for the heroes but I found out about that one after the one I’d already signed up for =/
    I was in 5th grade when I found out…My mom came to the school and pulled me out of class crying. A lot of other students were leaving and I was sitting there wondering what was going on. Even the teachers had no idea because they were in class..It was horrible 🙁 Eventually when my mom did come I got in the car and saw her crying (this is when I start crying as I type). I asked, “What’s wrong mommy?” And she turned on the radio. I didn’t really understand all the words that the radio announcer was saying. All I knew was that something really bad had happened. When I got home and saw the footage on T.V. it hit me…I started crying for all the lost lives, the tragedy, and for being so proud of being an American. It’s a time of hardship we’ll all remember, but it brought us all together more stronger than ever before.

    September 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm
    • Reply laury

      you were about the same age as my sister.

      September 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply Lisa

    Thanks for sharing your story from 9/11. It’s so interesting how that day is imprinted on our brains within each of our stories.
    I was working for the Air Force at the time in the gym at the base outside Boston—I watched the plane hit the second tower with about 15 military guys who were in the gym working out. It was very silent—no one moved. We watched the news coverage for a while and then the sirens went off, people dispersed and went into “delta” mode—shortly after the base closed to all civilians so I had to go home. All my friends there were in the military (since I had moved there only 4 months before and had only really met “work” related people so far) and all I could think about was the young guys who had signed up to get a free education…and now they were headed into the city on hum-vees with weapons. I sat in my apartment for a few days alone, waiting till I could get back on base, just listening to the fighter jets fly over, and talking to my family (who were 400 miles away) and boyfriend (who was in the military) whenever the phone lines would work.
    The base was a whole different place after that! My car got searched every time I went to work, and it just had a whole different feel to it…even once things on the outside acted “normal” again.
    Totally imprinted on my brain. I’ve listened to the Howard Stern coverage—some say he actually did the best job of any news/radio that was on air at that time.

    September 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm
    • Reply laury

      Thanks for sharing, Lisa. That is nuts. It must have been surreal working on a military base at that time! Howard Stern did a great job I think because he was literally right there!

      September 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm
  • Reply Jess@atasteofconfidence

    I was only in sixth grade, so unlike you I had no comprehension of what was happening. It was scary, though.

    September 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm
  • Reply Tiffany

    Great post, this stirs up lots of feelings as I too was in school (and duh, besides the obvious) I was going to a military history class of all things and the teacher heard about it but thought it was an accident. The rest of the day is still a blur to me but I remember staying in my sorority house all day long not knowing what would become of our country afterwards.

    So horrible, I still cant look at pictures from that day in NYC, DC and PA, my heart just breaks. Being out of the country on the 10th anniversary is especially weird. I heard there were a few things going on at the air force base here but other than that, a normal day.

    PS-On a brighter note,If I was in Philly for longer, I would have totally rang you 🙂 I had a short layover!

    September 11, 2011 at 6:27 pm
    • Reply laury

      I know you said it was 4 hour layover…hope you’re having fun!

      September 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    Such a touching post. Thanks for taking the time and sharing! It is amazing that it has been 10 years! Although I was over here on the west coast, I remember that day clearly! I was actually headed to my very VERY first day of hair school. I was listening to the radio (I cant remember which station but it was a news talk station) and they mentioned something about a plane hitting the twin towers. I literally pulled into the parking lot of my new school two seconds later, walked into school a little confused at what was going on, and went inside. Once I got to my class, one of the instructors said “welcome to your first day here! Ok, we have a serious situation happening and need to bring a tv in here and watch the news.. There is some stuff going on…” and they were scrambling getting a tv and getting it turned on. And watching the events unfold for the nexgt few hours was my first day of school My Dad is a manager for his company and travels ALL the time and he just happened to be in New York at the time for business meetings. He and his co-workers were supposed to be staying in the twin towers like they always do, but for some random reason this time they did not have enough space or something and they had to move their meetings across the street. So we did not hear from my Dad for about 6 or 8 hours after everything had happened and had no clue if he was ok. When we finally heard from he he said he could see everything happening from his window where he was at and that it was like nothing else he had ever seen. That New York was a total ghost town. I a so thankful that my Father wasn’t in those towers! And I am truly saddened for those who lost their loved ones! Thanks for this post! xo

    September 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm
    • Reply laury

      Thank you, sweetie. Wow. I can’t believe your dad was there! That is insane! I bet your family was beyond terrified when you didn’t hear from him. I can’t even imagine. XO

      September 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!

    What a moving post Laury! I was in the car with my mom on the way to school. I had athletics first period so it wasn’t until my second period English class that we all really realized what had happened. We all just sat in our desk staring at the tv not talking. It was so unreal! We will always remember and carry those who were lost with us in our hearts.

    September 11, 2011 at 10:02 pm
  • Reply thehealthyapron

    Such a sad day…I was sitting in homeroom in my sr. yr of high shcool.I seriously thought they were showing a movie on our tv screen when I Walked in to homeroom. The rest of the day was mostly reflecting the sad events. I remember my Dad saying how our lives would be forever changed.

    September 12, 2011 at 10:35 am
  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    Great tribute post… I also heard about it on the radio, and I thought it was a very uncool joke. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, and I remember not being able to concentrate fully in school for a few weeks even though I didn’t personally know anyone directly afffected. I just started thinking about the “big picture” and worried for our country!

    September 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm
    • Reply laury

      I think we all feel that same way.

      September 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm
  • Reply Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    I was in biology class. It was really hard for all of us to really comprehend.

    September 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm
  • Reply Licking My Chops…

    […] you so much for sharing your “where I was” stories yesterday. I felt very emotional all day, as I am sure many American’s did. I started watching CNN […]

    September 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply Leashieloo

    I’m a bit late on this, but it was a horrible day. I was 18 and at my first “job” (an evil collections agency) and they wouldn’t even dismiss us. We were so distraught about what was happening, I remember crying quite a bit and seeing military jets in the sky. I felt like the world had gone crazy. Eventually, the higher ups sent us home because none of us could focus on work and they realized that this was SERIOUS.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm
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