I know all of you remember where you were on 9/11 and what you were doing when you heard the news that the Twin Towers were attacked. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was sitting at my desk at work, being one of the first people in that morning. One of my coworkers came in and told me that he heard on the Howard Stern show that a plane had hit one of the towers in New York and I remember thinking that it was some kind of sick joke because it was that show. A few minutes later I heard coworker say, “Oh my God a plane hit the Twin Towers! It’s on the Internet.” I ran over to their desk to watch along with some others, mesmerized, wondering what was going on. One of my first thoughts was wondering how my son was doing and if he had heard and whether he was scared – he was 10. I call his school and talked to the headmistress who said that they were going make a decision as to what to tell the children and hadn’t really made any decision to close the school as I heard other schools were doing. They ended up not closing, but sent home a letter to the parents telling them what they had told the children and suggesting things that we could talk to them about. My son was not scared. He felt that our town was very small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things and that we were perfectly safe. He took it very well, for which I was very grateful.
The next few days were surreal. I was glued to the TV trying to make sense of what had happened. I was worried about my family and their safety. The phone lines were sketchy and sometimes didn’t work so well. Not hearing planes overhead was very strange which seemed odd to me as I really never notice them in the first place. At work, we had several radios tuned to KYW which were placed by the windows because there was bad reception at people’s desks. I remember feeling pretty fearful more than anything. This event was happening so close, but yet it was a world away. I remember how packed the churches were all of a sudden with people praying that there would be peace and hearing about friends of friends that were missing or dead. We went to a special evening Meeting for Worship a few days later and there was such a feeling of closeness in our little worship community.
I remember people hanging flags and being nice to each other, especially to the police and fire fighters. There was a genuine feeling of neighborliness going on that hadn’t been felt before. I remember seeing special concerts on TV and hearing songs written about people’s feeling about all that was going on.
All of these things have faded since that time and now people are pretty much back to the way they were before. Why should it take a life changing event for people to become decent with one another again? Despite our differences, we are all neighbors and should be there for each other. I shall never forget 9/11/01 and I am sure many others won’t either.
What were you doing when the Twin Towers fell?