9/11 - Ten Years Later
Photo taken from http://www.skyscraper.org/TALLEST_TOWERS/t_wtc.htm
It has been 10 years since the terrorist attack by the Osama Bin Laden-led group, Al Qaeda, where airplanes were overtaken and crashed into both of the 110-story skyscrapers called The Twin Towers in New York City, into the Pentagon and into a field. Lives of so many innocent people were lost.
Where were you when it happened?
I selfishly was commuting to San Francisco from Pacheco, CA to my 26-story office building downtown. I was going to school full time, working part time both days on the weekend, working a full time job, commuting and commuting to San Francisco State University. My routine was home, work, school, home, or home, school, work, school, home so I didn't listen to the news on the radio nor turn on the television as I got ready to leave the house. I thought it was weird that there wasn't any traffic at the Caldecott Tunnel. When I arrived at the other end, there was rush-hour-like traffic heading east. Strange. I remember it to be a beautiful day because I loved that bend right after the tunnel but before the Highway 13 off ramp because you can see the city, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the water. It's a beautiful sight.
I parked downtown off of 1st Street, under the off ramp and started to walk to my building that was at 1st and Mission. I happily saw a classmate I haven't seen in a semester or two, smiled and said "HEY!!! Where are you going?" "Home." He told me all that was going on on the East Coast. I had no idea. I went to work to see if they were sending everyone home.
On the 18th floor, people were in the common area, watching the television in awe. I didn't know anyone in New York, besides folks at our headquarters on Madison Avenue. What do I do? Should we be in this very building right now? Are they evacuating the city? No work was going to be done that day and eventually everyone left the office. No one cared about deadlines, status reports, or what the competitors were doing. We had a terrorist attack on US soil. Unacceptable.
The footage, to this day, makes it so hard to breathe. Large airplanes that people of all ages board everyday were purposely flown into the Twin Towers. People in the buildings plunged to their deaths from hundreds of feet above ground. Fire Fighters, Police Officers, volunteers and people just going about their day-to-day business like I was, perished and were buried under pounds of iron, steel and glass after each tower collapsed and filled the city with smoke and ash.
Today, the people of the United States remember those that fell victim to such a horrible act or terrorism, we remember those who have fought and continue to serve our communities and serve our country and we SHOULD be thankful today and everyday for our freedom.
I have never been to New York City before June of 2009. I did see the towers from the Newark, New Jersey airport in 2003 (?) while on a layover to Florida. Thank goodness the friend I went with found a way to that building. I have always wanted to live in New York. A friend from college and I were supposed to live there after college for at least one year but that never happened. On a great trip to the East Coast to meet my fiance's parents for the first time, DB also took me to New York City.
We took the metro from Hoboken (which I LOVE!), New Jersey and got off at the World Trade Center station. Before off boarding, I realized I was sitting in seats and in the same route people took everyday to make a living for themselves and their families. It made me sad. They saw this everyday.
Leaving the station, I stood there for a second, not caring in what New Yorkers way I was in and looked straight up. It could've still been there. We walked the perimeter and I did so almost entirely in silence, thinking of the many lives that were lost.
Bevo and I walked to Veteran's Park in our home town for a 9/11 memorial ceremony at 11 AM. The Mayor announced today to be name Patriot Day in the City of Brentwood and that a bigger memorial event will take place next year. The flag was lowered to half staff while Taps played. I was happy to be there to support our community and take moments of silence for the victims of September 11, 2001.
United We Stand