Three years ago today. But I guess I don’t have to tell you. You remember. How could we forget? I was at work. Someone came in and said a plane hit the World Trade Center but didn’t know anything more than that. We figured it was a small plane and a strange mistake. We went to a short meeting at 9:00. When I got back to my desk, my email box was overflowing with breaking news. I started scanning the emails quickly and realized something big was happening.
A co-worker got on the phone with his wife at home and started relaying what she was seeing on TV. News websites were down because so many people were going online. We were having a tough time getting news.
Soon I realized it wasn’t just NYC, but Washington DC also. Now it really hit closer to home. We have a lot of family that lives there. My cousin worked right off the mall in DC at the time. I started making phone calls to family and found everyone was fine, freaked, and going home. My family in SC started calling to see if I knew about my cousin in DC was okay. I wasn’t sure. Later in the morning I got a report that she was fine, just trying to walk home while seeing the Pentagon up in flames.
Then I found out her husband was in NYC that morning.
That afternoon I got this email from him:
Corner of Broadway and Houston, Lower Manhattan
I’m o.k., and I understood about an hour ago from my dad, who spoke with her, that [my wife] was walking safely with some workmates…to our apartment…I don’t know if anyone else has had any luck getting through to her, but if you do, please tell her I’m still o.k. and going to begin soon a long walk to the Upper West Side…I spent last night at a friend’s apt. about 10 blocks away from the WTC; obviously I won’t be going back there tonight…Long distance and cell phones still don’t work. Ironically email is the most reliable form of communication now…I left [my meeting] across the street [from the WTC] about 45 mins before the first impact…I watched all of it from the window and balcony of this office, about 25 blocks away. It was like a horror movie. Now the smoke and debris is hanging over the neighborhood, not completely engulfing, but noticeable.
I remember being worried for days that Orlando would be attacked also (they went after our financial capital, government capital, and military capital…why wouldn’t they go after Disney, arguably the capitalistic capital?). Crop dusters were all in the news and it was really strange to not see any plane at all in the air.
What’s most important is that we don’t forget. It’s a tough thing to deal with. Since then, I’ve seen God work in the hearts and minds of people. He’s done it in mine. He’ll continue to do it. Lord, please help those who still need your help.