I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I was a freshman at college and first heard about what happened when my mom called me and woke me up. She started off by saying, "First off, Rebecca is okay." I thought she was going to tell me my sister had been in some sort of accident or something. She'd told me that first off because at the time my sister was a flight attendant for American Airlines, based out of Boston, and tried to take a lot of LA trips so she could see my parents. If I remember right, I think some of the planes that were taken over were Boston-LAX flights.
Anyway, then she went on to explain what was happening. I obviously understood it was kind of a big deal, but it didn't really register. I went back to sleep and when I got up was listening to the radio, kind of getting a better idea of what had happened. It was hard being up at school because living in the dorms, we were pretty cut off from the media. We didn't have cable in our dorm and the only spot that did was the lounge.
I remember I seemed to be a lot more affected than a lot of the people around me. Everyone was obviously sensitive to the situation, but it just really shook me. I tried to stay up to date on everything that went on.
Now that I live in New York I was wondering what it would be like on 9/11 here, especially since I now live only three blocks from Ground Zero. When I go up on my roof I can see part of the big hole in the ground that's under constant construction. I often times look up and try to imagine what it looked like when the Twin Towers were there.
I didn't make it over to Ground Zero before work, but headed there after. I guess in the morning they have some sort of gathering with a moment of silence and other ways for people to remember.
When I went after work there were tons of posters and memorials. It was very quiet. Not too crowded, but definitely others like me, just going down to check it out and pay respects. Others there, I imagine, were family members, looking very red in the eyes and somber. It was very sobering to be there. There's a WTC memorial museum that I went to when my mom, brother, and sister-in-law were out. It is definitely worth going to if you come to New York.
I only took two pictures down there, as I tried to stay respectful and not turn it into a tourist attraction.
It's so crazy, for lack of a better word, to talk to coworkers who lived here when it happened (pretty much everyone I know did.) One of the assistants worked in one of the Twin Towers, on a floor in the 90s, but had planned on going in that to work that day. To hear the details of everyone's story is shocking, and I could never do them justice to type them out here.
It's so strange to know that there has been such a big event in my life time. Growing up I always heard about how everyone remembered where they were when they heard JFK had been shot, and how I would always feel the same about 9/11. It's so weird to me that I'll never hear the date September 11th and not have that feeling, that indescribable feeling, that comes along with hearing it. It will take a whole new generation of people before that effect fades away.
I am so grateful for so many men and women who sacrifice so much so that I can be in this country and be safe. I feel so blessed.