Where were you the day the world changed?
Sunday September 11, 2011see more by jen
Art credit: Eye Candy Creative Studio
On the 10th anniversary of 09/11/2001, I wanted to take a moment to stop and remember.
Just typing the word anniversary right now made me feel sick to my stomach, because to me, the word anniversary should mean happy things; celebrations of marriages, relationships, new beginnings.
And sadly 09/11/2001 was a new beginning, but in a terribly sad way as life as we knew it would never be the same. Where were you the day the world changed?
I remember it so vividly, every part of that day, that week, the months after.
On September 10th, 2001 I kissed my fiance good-bye and he left on a flight for a consulting job in Ohio for the week. I went to my parent’s house that evening to assemble my wedding invitations as our wedding date of November 10th was slowly approaching.
About 3/4 into the assembly job I realized that the invitation company had shorted me on envelopes. I remember feeling so upset because I was planning to mail them out that next day, and now my invitations would be delayed. I think the anxiety of the end portion of the wedding planning was making me a little edgy and I missed my fiance so much when he traveled.
That night was a terrible night of restless sleep. I remember having nightmares all night. I felt like I had just drifted off when I woke with a startle to the phone ringing. It was my mom, who in a somber and fearful voice asked, “Are you watching the news?” I was groggy and tired and told her “no,” to which I then heard the words, “They think terrorists have flown planes into the World Trade Center.”
Immediately I turned on the news. The images of the plane hitting was being played over and over. My whole body felt in a panic. It didn’t seem real. The company I worked for at the time was headquartered in NYC. I had gone there the month prior for training and spent a week just blocks away.
I tried calling our NY office and of course none of the lines worked. An instant message system we used to communicate with the sales team was working and I frantically messaged my team members to see if everyone was OK. I got through to a few. People were in shock.
One of my friends was outside and saw the first plane hit. Another one told me she was terrified and it looked like it was snowing outside. Thankfully all employees that day were okay. Physically that is.
The rest of the day was a mix of disbelief, sadness, and extreme anger. I remember seeing footage of a young woman in particular, probably my age, holding up a sign with a picture looking for her fiance. The look of pain on her face is something I will never forget. I saw myself in her.
Was she choosing her flavor wedding cake and assembling invitations like me? On 09/11/01 her whole world came crumbling down. The world changed in an instant.
We were violated, robbed.
A young woman robbed of her new life with her husband-to-be. An unborn child robbed of a life from knowing his father. A wife robbed of being able to greet her husband at the door that night after work.
But even in those dark days and through all the pain, anger and grief, I remember being so inspired by the spirit of patriotism and unity that followed.
I have visions of people standing on street corners with big signs that said, “God Bless America” and everyone would honk when they drove by.
The Friday of that week, there was a candlelight remembrance where people came out holding candles. I lived in Newport at the time and I walked up to the bridge coming onto the peninsula and the beauty of the candles took my breath away. And in that moment, there was a feeling of peace in the unity.
As Americans, were were all one big family in those days. Regardless of our differences, we were all affected, whether we knew someone personally or not, and we were all grieving together. Life as we knew it would never be the same, but I hope we can remember the strength we had as a country in those days because we were united.
My fiance flew home late that Friday from Ohio. I was sick with worry about him flying. When he walked in that night I held on to him so tightly. I never wanted to let him go.
I was supposed to be on a flight myself that day to Las Vegas for my bachelorette party, which we postponed, and I couldn’t care less. The envelopes hadn’t come in, and I couldn’t care less. My fiance was home with me and that was all that mattered.
So even in those darkest of moments, there were beautiful reminders of how PRECIOUS life is and how you should tell everyone you love how much you love them, every day, because there are no guarantees.
My heart goes out to all the people affected by this day and to all those who were lost. My heart still bleeds for you 10 years later. And it always will. As Americans, we will never forget.
Where were you on the day the world changed?