September 11th is one of those moments in which we all remember exactly where we were and what we were doing, no matter how much time passes.
Having our annual remembrance adds a heavy weight to my heart. But what lightens it some is to hear those stories of everyone’s frozen moment.
Like, I read how a window washing and five other guys were riding up an elevator when the plane hit the 2nd tower and their elevator started to fall. Someone quickly hit the emergency stop button and they could smell smoke. They pried open the elevator doors only to see a wall of drywall. One guy had a pocket knife and they all took turns slicing and cutting, until one guy dropped the knife and if freakin fell through the slit between the elevator and the wall. OMG! I can’t imagine. So the window washer had a squigee and they used that to get through the 4 layers of drywall to push against tile and end up escaping out underneath a sink in a men’s bathroom. This squigee is now a historical piece of evidence of the day that changed this country as we know it.
I, myself, was in college. I am a Jersey girl and went to a small state school less than 20min from downtown Manhattan. I was in my dorm room and my boyfriend at the time woke me up. He had been up and listening to Hot 97.1, the best hiphop station likely in the country. I say that, because when they weren’t playing music they would be doing the typical morning routine as most radio stations. But this morning they were serious. My boyfriend woke me up saying, listen, I think something is going on, they said a plane crashed into one of the twin towers or something. So I got up, heard the seriousness of the DJ on the radio and turned on the TV and saw what everyone else was watching and my heart sank, but the seriousness didn’t kick in. That was until the 2nd plane hit and then the Pentagon. When the Pentagon got hit, I said oh my God, we’re under attack. Although, I am a child of the Desert Storm and Iraq war, we never saw war. And for the first time, war was 20 minutes away and shit got real.
The school cancelled classes and my boyfriend and I drove up to West Orange, NJ to this beautiful overlook. It’s up on a hill and you can look for miles and miles eastward and see the entire skyline of New York City. Many people were already there and spoke in a hush as if we were in church. We new this was a historical moment. People were taking pictures of the plume of smoke that blew from the north to south. It was surreal and dreamlike. I can’t really remember what we did after that, we likely went an smoked some weed to chill and contemplate on the end of the life as we knew it.
Thinking back to this time, also makes me wish I never dated that guy and he is forever going to get brought up as we relive these events every year because we’re never going to forget. Why that phrase/hashtag #neverforget exists is beyond me. Like we’d ever forget.
May our hearts feel lighter with every year that passes.
Just my story/oponion.