Tuesday, September 11, 2007
My Memories of September 11, 2001
As many of you know, today is the sixth anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC.
Like people who remember what they were doing in my parents generation when they heard about JFK and Dr. King being assassinated, or people like myself who remember what they were doing when the Challenger exploded after liftoff in 1986, that moment in time is frozen in everyone's memories.
I was back home in Houston preparing to fly to Louisville the next day for interviews I had set up. But that morning I couldn't sleep. I kept tossing an turning to the point I finally gave up and got out of bed about 6:30 AM CDT. I flipped on the TV to Good Morning America and used it as the backdrop for checking my e-mail and typing a few chapters of my first novel I was working on.
I was alerted to the first inklings of the tragedy to unfold when Charles Gibson broke with the story of a fire being reported at the World Trade Center. That piqued my curiosity enough to make me walk into my living room, angle the TV where I could see it and go back to my bedroom to resume what I was doing on the computer.
I called my homegirl Carol Lee who lives in Yonkers to find out what she'd heard and as the story kept unfolding I gave up trying to rework that chapter in Capital Gains.
I was watching the live feed when the second plane crashed into the other tower. I knew from my airline industry time that it was a commercial bird by recognizing the profile of a 767 and that it was no accident. There are no-fly zones around mega skyscrapers like the World Trade Center set up to specifically avoid repeats of planes colliding with buildings like a plane did in 1945 with the Empire State Building.
Well, I was on the phone wih Carol for the next several hours as the rest of that terrible morning unfolded before hanging up. I thought about my last vacation visit to New York in May 2000 and how my wish to go up to the observation deck on the 110th floor would go unfulfilled. I was planning to do that during my trip but weather wouldn't permit it. The first two days I hung out with Carol it was rainy and cloudy before the skies cleared to have brilliant sunshine that Saturday. I was also waiting for a piece of my luggage to get delivered to her place that didn't arrive with me as well. I decided to blow off the trip to the WTC until my next visit.
I haven't been near the NY area since.
After confirming that the other peeps I knew in the area were safe, I thought about those previous trips to New York. No matter what part of town you were in, the imposing view of the Towers let you know you're in New York.
It's weird now when I watch movies that are set in New York and see the Towers in those shots. It's just as weird NOT seeing the Towers in the New York skyline.
God bless all the people who lost their lives in those heinous attacks, their families who are still struggling without them in their lives, and the folks who are suffering medically because they selflessly went to help their fellow human beings in a time of need.