Here we are, September 11. Nine years, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
I actually arrived to work early at my office in Wilton, CT. Since it was a marketing/promotions agency we were lucky and had several televisions around the large space. A report caught someone’s eye and we began to gather around. When the news became more than a small prop plane hitting the North Tower, it was a 767, full of passengers, there were gasps and tears that filled the room. And then the second tower was hit. This was no accident, this was terrorism. And our world would never be the same.
New York City, only 45 minutes away on the train, and somewhere I had just been the past week. As the first tower began to crumble and gush towards the ground I held my breath. I prayed people had escaped, had freed themselves from the horror of the unthinkable. What seemed only seconds later, the second tower went. I was numb. I couldn’t stop staring at the screen. Where did they go? Who could do this to thousands of people?
The agency told everyone to go home. And I called my family back to tell them I was okay. I traveled a lot and had just taken that same flight from Boston to LA (American Airlines 11) a few weeks before. That thought still terrifies me to this day. In shock, my friend Jeannette and I went to the liquor store, I have no idea what we bought but we brought it back to my cottage in the Connecticut woods and sat in front of the television, glued to every word, every shocking scene replayed over and over again.
As the days slipped by I went through many stages. At first I couldn’t stop crying, the destruction of our great city, the loss of so many lives in New York, the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania. Then I was angry, how DARE they do this to my country? Who the hell do they think they are? When I went into the city to see firsthand what Ground Zero looked like I couldn’t stop shaking my head while wiping away tears. So many posters of the missing. Have you seen my father, daughter, uncle, brother, mother, husband…….
The reason I had been to NYC a few days before 9/11 was to look for my perfect apartment. It had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to live in the BIG city. Manhattan. And now? Now, I felt that I HAD TO. A few people were concerned, why move in now? After what just happened? And my answer was always yes. Yes, because of what happened.
And fifteen days later I moved into my tiny studio apartment on the Upper East side of 74th and 1st. Those were some of the best years of my life.
God Bless New York City.