I decided to write a bit about my experience of the 9/11 terrorist attacks- mostly because I never have. A few friends and family have heard all or most of the story over the years, but I have never written thoroughly about it. No particular reason for it. This year I wanted to share.
I don’t know anyone personally who was killed in the attacks. But I know people who did lose family and/or friend. I was working at Barnes & Noble bookstore. I had been there for about a year and a half. It was a time for me to unwind from school (I had finished my undergraduate degree) and think about the next step, as I knew I wanted to go back to school. My dad was supposed to fly from Atlanta to Philadelphia that morning for work. Mom was teaching and my brother was in school in Atlanta.
Our morning meeting at the bookstore was happening as the planes hit the World Trade Center. I worked at the front of the store so I got the story bit by bit from customers throughout the morning. The first tower hit; the second tower hit; the Pentagon; the field in Shanksville, PA. I had no visual picture in my mind since I was not able to watch in front of a television. Part of me wishes it had stayed that way. It took what felt like an eternity, but my dad was finally able to call and say that he was in Atlanta and waiting for the chance to get back home. A co-worker had a sister who worked in the Towers, but was not there that morning. A former teacher/coach regularly visited and worked in the Pentagon. Thankfully he was unharmed as well.
I remember the relief I felt when I found out that no one I knew was injured or killed. I remember the hurt I felt for those who had lost someone. I remember the feeling of anticipation for what would happen next. I remember thinking about how my life and the lives of all Americans would be different from that day forward- and that I would always remember.