"Sometimes it seems like it happened to someone else--like maybe it was a story I heard."
Sometimes it feels like it happened only yesterday, and other times as though it was a lifetime ago. 5 years. So long ago and again so near. I took the above picture last September when I went to New York City. The building is tower 7, the last tower to collapse. And even though construction is complete, it stand almost vacant. Even 5 years later.
Today is a day every one will be remembering. But before I tell my story, don't forget the stories that won't be told. Remember the thousands who died. Remember those who went in for the rescue. Some of them came out, and some of them didn't. That day, ordinary people became heroes.
Tuesday, September 11th 2001. I was in 9th grade. Our neighbors children came over to our house because their Mum had a doctors appointment. I had an English/History class that morning and I was getting ready for it. Our house was also being painted. And that's how we found out. The painter came in and told Mum to turn on the TV, that something was happening in New York. I came our den to find them watching the TV and the World Trade Towers smoking. I remember being usnure of exactly what was going on. I think Mum was to shocked to explain. I did realize it was important. I went to the living room and told our neighbors to come in and watch. The boys where aprox. 9 and 8 and the girl 12. I don't think they quite realized what was going on either. We watched for several more minutes and then Mum had to take me to class. We listened to the radio on the way over and were very quite. Between that time and by the time I got to my class, the towers had fallen.
There was a large TV in the room where my class was (some one basement actually) and we turned it on and watched a little before trying to make it through our 3 or so hours of class. Dad came home early that day. I had an orthodontist appointment that day as well. It was a very surrealistic day for me. Like I was watching some one else. Still not fully comprehending what would follow in the days to come. Or just what it all meant. But slowly, I was begining to understand. I don't remember when I found out that the Pentagon had been hit. Or that Flight 93 was also apart of the event. Probably because I saw it on TV very early when the Towers where the big news. I saw the President at the school in Florida address the nation and call it a Terrorist Attack.
It seems like the TV hardly went off over the next three days. Especially at night. A friend of ours didn't have a TV and he came over and watched a lot of it with us. We watched as rescues became less and less. We watched the replay of the towers fall, of the planes hit, people telling their stories.
My friend and I went out one night and picked up some of the magazines that had already come out a few days after it had happened. The ones with the pictures, the stories. I think that was 3 days later. We came back, watched more TV. Then a story came on. It was one of the men who had escaped the tower. To re-count the story he told here wouldn't be near as funny as when we saw it. And to this day we can't quite remember why we thought it so funny, but we did. My Mum, my friend and I were all watching and as this poor man told his story, he slipped up and we all busted out laughing. We laughed so hard. Like I said, it wasn't all that funny, but I think the stress of the three days had just built up on us and at this one thing, we all lost it.
And so last year when I visited the great city of New York, this is the New York Skyline as I saw it and as it has been for the past 5 years -
Never forget. Always remember.