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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never forget

Cross post from HatCityBLOG

September 11 2001 is a day I'm sure many residents of Danbury (as well as the nation) will never forget.

I remember that morning when I woke up, made my usual cup of coffee, walked outside to my porch and saw the clearest sky I've ever seen. As usual, I was running behind schedule and scrambling to get ready to work. While ironing my clothes, I was catching up with the morning news (I think I was flipping back between Good Morning America and Today) and laughing at the thought of my friends goofing on me when I walk into the office late.

I can recall going for the remote and just about to press the power button when someone on television broke with the news that "something" hit one of the World Trade Center towers. Now, this happened about a quarter to nine and I didn't see the tower on TV when I turned it off...I just thought some small single engine plane hit the building or something.

I jumped in my car and while I usually listen to Stern in the morning, I tuned to 1010 WINS to find out what was going on and that's when I first learned that something serious happened. By the time I made it to my job, the second tower was hit and it finally hit me...the country was under attack.

I remember going into the office and seeing complete chaos. The internet being completely down (the WTC was a major hub for communications), people on their cell phones trying to get in touch with friends and loved ones who worked in the city, and work coming to a complete standstill. There was no way to get any information except for the radio (we had no TVs in the building) so people walked outside and hovered around cars listening to news reports.

I remember the moment the first tower collapsed and my heart dropped as I realized that a friend of mine worked at the tower from time to time and none of my friends knew whether or not he was at the WTC on that day.

He had a young son and a daughter on the way.

I remember the horrible feeling of emptiness, a dark feeling you get when someone close to you passes away. That blank expression that people get when they’re hypnotized and you don’t know what to do.

By late afternoon, I remember saying “the hell with this”, packing up my things, and left work. I couldn't get any work done...no one could get anything done on that day. My thoughts were on my friend, his family, and all those people who lost their lives. Driving around town, you could see that everyone had the same look of shock and disbelief on their faces. It was like, how could such a beautiful day turn into a nightmare?

I pulled over to a restaurant that had a television and it was there for the first time that I witness with my eyes what I only heard on the radio and it made the situation even worse. The only bright spot of that day was the phone call I got telling me that my friend didn't have to work in the city on that day but he lost a lot of colleagues who never made it out of the building.

That was a brief look at what I remember the most from that day and to be honest, I don't even know why I'm writing this for.

Maybe it's because the memory of that day is fresh in my mind as I watch the memorial service.

Maybe it's because that moment was a turning point in my life when I decided to get more politically active.

Maybe I just wanted to share my feelings with someone who going through the same emotions right now as we remember those who lost their lives six years ago.

Whatever the case, I know in my heart that I'll always recall that experience on that terrible day on every September 11 for the rest of my life. My heart goes out to all those who lost a loved on that horrible day in our country's history. I pray that none of us will never forget and pass on our experience to the next generation who will never know what the beautiful New York skyline looked prior to September 11, 2001.

You can watch live footage of the 9/11 ceremony via CNN by clicking here.