Every time this day comes around it is always difficult to talk about. I can't believe that already we have hit the 10th anniversary. I could swear it feels like it happened yesterday. The years truly do fly by. And though there is a popular phrase that 'time heals all wounds,' this is one that I don't think will ever fully go away.
Being from Jersey, you get used to the close proximity of New York very quickly. Most everyone commutes there, and it's a mess on public transit during rush hour. I remember getting up for snowboarding real early and getting stuck in that traffic. It really doesn't matter which way you get there -- there will be a ton of other people right there alongside you. 10 years ago, it was exactly the same case. Just another day.
I know about the New Yorkers coming down for the beach, I am well acquainted with the Yankee fans, or the vendetta between the Yanks and the Mets. I know about the sounds of taxi drivers blowing their horns and the click-clacks of all of the men and women in their dress shoes and heels. If I close my eyes I can close my eyes and smell the air of the harbor. I'm not officially a New Yorker, but with the number of people associated with that place that live near me, I mind as well be. It's a shame I didn't spend more time there growing up.
I'll never forget the day. My teacher was Ms. Genovese, and we were in the middle of English class, which at the time we called Language Arts. The intercom started going crazy, and kids started getting called to go home in droves. I didn't really think anything of it. Shortly after the school made the decision to send everybody home. We weren't told anything, but heard that there had been a plane crash. I couldn't understand what the big deal was, I was sure plane crashes had happened before...
On the way home we had an extra adult on the bus that would walk up to the door with you to make sure a parent or someone was home. This had never happened before. The ride home was normally a 2 minute quick bit, as I lived right down the road, but this time is took almost a half hour.
My mom opened the door before we even reached the porch, and I was hurried inside. The news was on, but it was really fuzzy, more so than I was used to (we always only had local channels). And then there it was. Gaping holes in the those two beautiful Twin Towers. Plumes of thick black smoke billowing out of them.
The rest of that day is kind of a blur. My family sat with eyes glued to the screen. I can't remember if I actually saw the towers fall real time, or if they were replays by the time I got home. What I do remember is the absolute chaos. People crying in the streets. Phone calls being frantically made to people to see if they were okay. Miracles happening when people didn't or couldn't go to work that day, and it saved their lives. The firefighters and policemen even looking on in awe, not sure how to remedy such a thing. People spattered with blood, gashes on their bodies, some with limbs lost, climbing into ambulances. The worst was probably seeing replays and live pictures of people jumping out of the buildings. I've never felt like I was going to throw up so much. Those poor people...
Back then, I didn't understand it. And probably didn't really know what to do. Life would continue as usual, but not because anyone wanted to, rather because it had to. And years have passed since then, 10 to be specific, and it still feels like yesterday. That part of me is never going to heal, but rather is will scar over and over and over until the scar fills up that space. But that won't change the fact that it's there. I will never forget that day, and I'm sure that I will never stop crying every year that it comes around.
As I always do when this time of the year comes around, I'm going to watch the movie World Trade Center. I usually try to watch it with someone, because in the past when I've done it alone I end up bawling uncontrollably, and at least having someone there helps with the pain.
I can only imagine what the world would be like if it all hadn't happened...