Linking up with Andrea for "Where were you on 9/11?"
September 11, 2001
I was 25 years old living in Albany NY (about 2.5 hours from New York City).
I was in the bathroom of our apartment getting ready for work when the phone rang. It was my “late” day, so I didn’t have to be in the office until 10:00am. My boyfriend (now husband) who was still half asleep answered the phone. A few seconds later he came into the bathroom with an alarmed look on his face and told me to turn on the TV, something bad had happened. I turned on the TV and saw one of Twin Towers burning.
Driving to work, I listened to the news coverage on one of the local radio stations, which had stopped playing music and was focused solely on what was happening in NYC. Once I got to work, everyone who was not out on appointments was in the conference room watching the TV. We all sat there in disbelief watching what was unfolding.
I had a few work appointments I had to go out on. I was glued to the coverage in my car, crying, and hoping no one I knew was hurt.
After my appointments were done, I had walked to Bruggers Bagels to get some lunch. By this time everyone knew it was a terrorist attack. When I got to Bruggers, there was a sign on the door saying, “Closed for the safety of our employees.” I remember thinking to myself that it was highly unlikely a bagel shop in Troy, NY would be a terror target. But I suppose we were all just very frightened and didn’t know what to do.
After I got back to my office, my husband called and said he was being deployed and needed to report to the Armory that evening (he was in the National Guard at the time). My boss let me leave so I could go home and spend a couple hours with him before he left.
We sat on the couch watching TV and I cried and cried. Cried for the people on the planes, in the towers, at the pentagon. Cried for the fireman, policemen, and all the first responders. And I cried because I was worried for my husband....we didn’t know how long he would be deployed for, or where he would be deployed to, or what danger may lay ahead.
I think I watched more TV in the days that followed than I have in all my years of TV watching combined. It was addicting, and even though it was usually the same information over and over again, you just couldn’t stop watching.
I am relieved to say that my husband was only deployed for a few days to guard a nuclear power plant in Northern NY. And none of my friends in DC or NYC were hurt (although there was a close call with the brother of a close friend...he made it out about 5 minutes before the first tower collapsed).
Even now, I can't look at pictures from that day, or watch a TV program about 9/11 without tearing up and feeling a huge pit in my stomach. I think about Father Mychal Judge and all the other fireman who were there to try and save lives, and instead lost their own. I think about all the children who lost their parents, and all the parents who lost their adult children. There are images from that day that are seared forever in my mind...people running in fear covered in dust and blood, people jumping to their death, people screaming and crying in the streets, masses of people walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to get home or to safety.
September 11, 2001 will be ingrained in my memory forever. I can truly say it is the day I learned and understood there is great evil in this world, but also great strength, kindness and resilience.