Monday, September 03, 2007

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

Where were you on the morning of September 11, 2001?

I remember the morning of September 11, 2001. It was a Tuesday and the sky was almost cloudless. It was a perfect late summer day in New Haven, CT.. I work for a laboratory in the Hospital Of Saint Raphael in New Haven and I was in the break room with two of my friends (Gabby and Frank). Someone came in and said a small airplane just hit the World Trade Center in NYC. I remember Gabby’s comment was “How blind could they be? That building is huge.” Right there I guess we knew on the inside something was wrong.

We stood in front of a television set in the lad watching the Today show. There was only about 6 or 7 people watching it with us. It was live at the Trade Center and I remember how shocked I was at the size of the fire because they were still reporting that it was a small plane that crashed into the side of the building. It was then what seemed like a blink of an eye that a second plane appeared on the screen and slammed into the second tower. I was actually confused at that point. I thought maybe it was film footage of the early crash being shown. I then heard the panic in the news reporter’s voice and it occurred to me that this was a second plane. I felt the blood drain from my face when I realized we just watched hundreds of people die. I instantly wondered how in the world were they going to get all those people out of those burning buildings? The news cameras were closing in on images of people hanging out the windows hundreds of feet above the ground, trying to get air. I cold see things falling from the buildings and then I realized the things falling were human beings.

I remember running down the hall and telling people in our work area what just occurred. Before I knew it, it seemed like half the laboratory was crammed in front of this small television set.

I returned back to my work area and the phone rang. My friend’s and family all were calling to ask if I knew what was happening in NY. Awhile later my brother Tommy called and said that a plane just hit the Pentagon Building in Washington, DC. I remember I was almost in a panic on the inside because no one had any idea what in the world was going on. He would call with updates over and over, One call he told me that the planes were believed to been hijacked and there was possibly two more still in the sky.

I walked into the room were a TV was on. The room was now packed with shocked co-workers. As I walked in the unthinkable happened. One of the Twin Towers fell. My heart sunk. Total panic and a white cloud of smoke filled the television screen.

The phone rang again. It was my brother. He said a plane, a big one, just crashed in Pennsylvania. No one at that moment had any idea that what would unfold from the crash of this plane would go down in history as one of the bravest act of heroism ever.

Our hospital was now in a small network of relief hospitals designated to help with survivors o this disaster.

I left work early that day only to promise to come back if they need people to help with survivors. I remember getting on I-95 and the electronic highways signs all had the same message lit up across them, ”All entrances to NYC CLOSED”. I remember crossing the Q bridge over New Haven Harbor and looking up to see if any planes were heading toward it. Inside it was panic and disbelief.

Nearly all of the schools, stores and businesses closed early that day. There was no need to go back to the hospital because it became very apparent that there would be no survivors coming out of the now collapsed World Trade Center.

I sat in front of the television set all through the night watching the news in horror, sadness and disbelief. I watched the news as they showed families and friends of loved ones lost crying. The stories of the NYC firemen and policemen and rescue workers that lost their lives trying to save others. I heard of the phone calls made from hijacked United Flight 93 and how they began to believe that the passengers and crew may have fought back against the terrorists.

The following days proved to be a time of healing and support. I was one of those people that watched a telethon of stars rallying up support for the families that lost loved ones. I lit a candle with millions of others in remembrance.

One thing we must do is remember. Let us never forget what we lost and what was given on September 11, 2001. I hope in the next few postings I could help people do just that and remember and honor those we lost six years ago in that Tuesday morning.


Steven said...

Hi Rick,I was on my way to work.I still remember the radio announcer saying a small cesna had crashed into the WTC, it was 8:48am.
when I turned the TV on at work and saw the WTC on fire I couldn't believe my eyes.When I saw the second plane hit,I started thinking WWIII.I just couldn't believe my eyes!!!

I don't think those wounds will ever heal!!!

I will add you to my links


Paper Fan Club said...

Hi Rick: I don't think any of us will forget where we were that day... every moment of that day seems so vivid. I was already at work when I got a Google News alert that one of the towers was on fire, so I turned on CNN. It was before the second plane hit. We all sat stunned in the boardroom watching TV the rest of the day.

p.alan said...

I was just getting ready to turn off the TV and walk out the door, but the first building's fire kept my interest. I stood and watched, and as the second plane hit, my knees buckled. I think perhaps I yelled. Luckily, a large coffee table was behind me and I sat down upon it. After I finally got myself together, I left my home. I called my mother too.

"Have you seen what has just happened?"

"Yes" she said with a shaky voice.

"I love you"

"I love you too"

It was a very confusing day. Emotions ran high, and I felt lucky that my family and friends were all alive.

Johnskibeat said...

We were waking up in a Las Vegas hotel room, on honeymoon. Suddenly we felt like complete strangers - being in a foreign country watching neon images of American flags at half-mast was the weirdest feeling. We phoned England just to check our families were alive - how crazy is that?

Lindsey_Van_Dandy said...

Richard!!! It's Lindsey.

It's interesting to read your post on this awful event because I realize that your experience differs from mine so greatly!

I remember on sept 11 2001, I was sitting in my 6th grade math class. I was only 12 years old. It was 9:05 when my teacher, Mrs. Crabtree recieved a phone call for my early dismissal. I found this to be ironic and strange because school, at the time, started at 8:30. Why would my mom be here so early to collect me?

I knew something was wrong.

I fled down to the office almost in tears. My biggest fear as a child was that my dad would get lung cancer and die because it happened to my grandfather and they both smoked. My dad had a doctors appointment that day. I was terrified.

After trailing down the serpentine hallways of my school, I was realeased into the main lobby where my mom stood aloof in tears. I ran up to her as my eyes started to water. I was afraid my biggest fear had become a reality.

She said nothig as we got into the car. The distance between my elementry school and my house was very short but the ride seemed like forever. While she was driving, my mom told me about the world trade centers being hit. At that moment, my crying abruptly stopped. I didn't know what the world trade centers were, or the severity of the incident. I guess I was just happy that my dad was okay.

That day, I went home, watched scooby doo and ate spaghettios. Out of the 88 channels on tv. I counted that about 50 of them were covering a story relivant to the twin towers. MTV was nothing more than a blank screen with a rainbow backround because they took it off the air.

I remember I didn't cry or really care because I was young and ignorant, but today, when the date comes around I always take time to mourne and pray for those who lost their lives and those who were directly effected by it.

Sometimes at night I have nightterrors, which is a condition of mine that I've had since I was a child. I'll never forget the one that I had where a girl with red hair was standing over me crying.

I later found out recently that a girl named Tori with red hair used to live in my house, and stayed in my bedroom.

She died that day in those buildings.

Maybe it wasn't a dream you know?

Either way. I sympathize for people directly effected by the event. It is truly a great loss and sorrow for our country to deal with.