Where were you?

This contains some disturbing images that I wouldn’t necessarily encourage you to watch unless you’re particularly up to it.  I remember 9/11/01. It was my first year of law school at Syracuse. I was taking my time getting ready to get to school – we had a study group meeting at like 10 maybe. I don’t remember the exact time.  I had just gotten out of the shower and the Today show was on.  I called Izzy because, at the time, I thought that some drunk guy had crashed into one of the buildings in the World Trade Center and I wanted to tell him about it. He was non chalant about it, as he usually is.  But then on live television, I saw the second plane hit.  And I freaked out.  It was instinctual. I called Izzy again and I was literally screaming and babbling into the phone.  He had me slow down and then, later on, after everything had settled down a little bit, he told he that in his mind, he was like “Oh Sh*t.” I called my parents and sister – my sister was still a Senior in high school.  They were close enough that the kids on the third floor of the building saw everything.  My dad was supposed to be in the city that day. I had friends that worked and went to school there and friends that were NYPD/FDNY.  I freaked.

I actually loaded up my backpack and got on the school bus and went to school. People on the bus had a transistor radio that we listened to on the 10 minute ride in.  It gripped us and united us in a way that nothing before had, really. All different sorts of us were around that radio. Then I walked across campus, in a void, and got to the law school. I was on autopilot – I don’t know how I got there. I couldn’t get a  hold of anyone – not even Izzy.  I kept getting the all circuits are busy signal.  My schoolmates were crying, red eyed.  I remember walking down to the second floor and watching, stone faced. The first tower had fallen already one of my schoolmates said. Our dean of the college hugged me and said it would be all right, but I couldn’t respond. I think that he knew that I was in a bad place.  The second tower fell. I watched in on TV and then turned and left the school and went to my apartment.  I remained glued to the TV all day – classes were cancelled. The next few days were awful.  I went to support meeting, after support meeting, held by the school, trying to figure out why. My journal entry from that day was ten pages long, handwritten. They cancelled all sporting events that week, which made things worse, because I needed the distraction and the normalcy that they offered.

September 11 still upsets me. I can’t watch the videos or see pictures without crying. I dread having to explain it to Nate, who will surely ask me questions about it being that I was alive when it happened and remember it.  It’s wierd – across three generations…my mom remembers the twin towers being built and of course coming down. I only remember them coming down – they have always been there for me, like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty have always been there.  And for Nate, they will never be there. Only the memory and the legacy.


One thought on “Where were you?

  1. I remember when Izzy called me after the first plane hit. I think he woke me up because, as you know, I’m three hours behind you. I was on the phone with him and watching TV when the second plane hit. I only talked to him for a minute before you called and he got off the phone.
    But in that minute I said, “This is war.”
    For a minute I thought, what if we (the USA) did nothing?
    What if we turned the other cheek?
    It was an impossibility. But still… I wonder, what if?

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