There isn’t much to say really. 9/11/2001 was a day that anyone who was old enough to be aware of what was happening will never forget. Every anniversary of that event I watch video of what happened that day to remind myself of how that day felt. Today was no exception and as usual it brought back a flood of memories.
I was getting ready for work that day like any other and like most days I had Good Morning America on. When I came out of my room they had broken in to the regular coverage with what appeared to be a fire burning in one of the towers of the World Trade Center. At that point nobody really had much information as to what was happening but at 9:02 I remember seeing the 2nd plane hit the second tower and thinking to myself “what in the hell did I just see? did I just see another plane hit the towers?” and yes that is in fact what I saw. It was a horrifying moment and one I will never forget. The TV anchors were speechless. Everyone felt helpless. We were sitting there watching some sort of attack and of course nobody knew what else might happen.
I called in to work and said I wasn’t coming in that day because it would have been stupid to get on the roads. I then called my wife, who worked in downtown Chicago at the time, to make sure she was safe and find out what was happening there. People were streaming out of downtown but everything was orderly and she arrived home safely.
Eventually we found out there were other attacks and we also sat and watched in horror as the towers collapsed. I really don’t know what to say here because as I sit here writing, after watching the videos again, I have that same feeling inside me, the feeling of being completely helpless. It was just one of those events, like the attack on Pearl Harbor, or the assassination of President Kennedy, where you know where you were and what you were doing at the exact moment it all happened.
I remember quite vividly too the next day going to work and at lunchtime going for my usual walk at one of the local forest preserves. I worked close to O’Hare airport at the time and of course they had grounded all flights in the United States. It was extrememly odd not hearing the sound of planes going overhead as they made their approach to O’Hare. It was even more odd not seeing some trace of a plane in the sky that day. It had never happened before and thankfully has not happened since.
It is still amazing to me how some events leave such a lasting imprint on your memory that it is possible to almost relive it. A lot has happened in the seven years since that event but I’ll certainly never forget where I was that day and what I was doing.