On Sept. 11, 2001, I was driving the boys to school when a radio announcer on a morning show I listen to said "someone just ran his plane into the World Trade Center"
I looked at the sky at that minute and it was the bluest sky, the whitest clouds.
Everyone thought it was a small plane, they discussed different options- was he drunk, blinded by the sun?
I dropped the kids off and when I got home and told my husband, he immediately said it was a terrorist attack.
That idea sounded insane to me. Why?
We turned on the tv and watched the buildings burn. When they fell, it was like being in a bad dream where you cannot wake up.
We watched tv for next 2 days, barely leaving the house.
I have been to NYC a few times. When we took the boys in 1999, we talked about taking them up in the buildings, the towers. Instead, they chose the Empire State Building. I also have photos of us on the ferry on our way to the Statue. The towers are in the background. I have photos of the boys standing downtown with the towers looming behind them.
We went back in November 2001. Everything was different. You could not go to the top of the Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State Building.
We could not get close to Ground Zero but we had lunch at a pizza place in the Wall Street area and there were workers coming in that were completely covered, head to toe, with white dust. They looked shell-shocked. The things they must be seeing, 2 months later. In the rubble. People applauded them, stood up and clapped any time a worker came in.
I cried in the corner while I tried to read a magazine. The boys were out trying to get a closer look at where the building stood. We have pictures. Lots. All of my photos are in albums so we will not forget.
I had only been to NYC a couple of times and I was devastated by our loss, imagine how it felt when that was YOUR city. Well it was our city, I guess. It is our city. It is our country.
The last time I went, it was with my 3 sisters in December of 2009. We stayed at a hotel that overlooked Ground Zero. There were huge gaping holes in the earth. It seemed so empty. We spent a lot of time on the other side of the city and never made it to the site, the Statue or the Empire State Building.
Things have changed in 2 years. We plan to go back and see the memorials.
We saw before and during, now to the after.