9/11 is a date that will be remembered forever.
It was on this day back in 2001 that I watched in horror on a television screen in a newstand in Grand Central Station in New York City as the first plane hit the first Building of the World Trade Center.
I stood there, mouth agape and watched in shocked horror and confusion along with a crowd of early morning commuters on our way to work.
We’d stopped at the newstand to pick up a morning paper, a cup of coffee and perhaps a quick snack, before continuing on our routes to work when the CNN reported that the first building had been struck by an airplane and that the event had been captured on video. We stood there dumbstruck, not believing that any pilot could be so incompetent as to accidentally crash into the World Trade Center of all things, when all of a sudden, another plane came into view.
I could feel the feel the collective stiffening of the crowd as we watched in horror when the second plane crashed into the 2nd tower. This was truly impossible. Surely there could not be two completely inept pilots, both flying on the same day and both going so severely off course that they both accidentally crashed into the two towers of the world trade center, could there?
I turned and headed to my office, only 3 blocks from Grand Central, listening to the various murmurings and speculation around me. People where theorizing that perhaps we were under attack! My first thought was that I’d better get the hell out of Grand Central. After all, what better target than Grand Central? The destruction of New York City’s transportation hub would send business into turmoil and kill thousands, if not millions of commuters who pass through the station each morning on their way to work.
I reported to my office and tried to start my work day but found myself wondering about the horror I’d witnessed and what it’s meaning could possibly be when one of my co-workers ran by yelling that the first building had gone down!
I yelled at her to shut up and stop spreading rumors but she assured me that it was no rumor, the building had indeed collapsed. We ran to the nearest conference room where my colleagues were gathered around a television set tuned to CNN and we watched in horror as they showed video of the 1st tower as it collapsed in on itself. It was horrible and amazing at the same time. How could it just fall in on itself like that? I marveled at how efficiently the building had died. It was as if the building had enough sense not to just topple over onto all the buildings around it, but just collapse, in an attempt to minimize the destruction. It’s final effort to save lives.
Then, the unthinkable happened yet again as the second building followed it’s twin into oblivion.
Needless to say, there was no work to be done at our company that day.
We were on Park Avenue between 39th and 40th. Many of us ran downstairs and out onto the street where we could actually see the cloud of debris and ash that resulted from the buildings collapse. There was chaos and confusion everywhere as people ran toward the train stations in an effort to get back to their suburban homes and their families in case the final day of reckoning had arrived.
09/11/2001 is a date that I will never forget. It was the day that highlighted the tenuous grasp that we all have on life and the ease with which some person or organization can snuff out that life. It made me think about what truly matters in my life and changed my perspective forever.
It saddens me that we live in a world were such events, things that would have been unthinkable until 9-11, are now a part of our history. The events of 09-11-2001 changed the lives of the all of the citizens of the United States of America and the rest of the World as well.