Even 17 years later, I tear up thinking about that day. I was changed, like many others. Something in me was never the same…
I was in the shower, getting ready for school. I was 19, a newlywed. I was listening to my favorite radio station, like I always did. The show was rowdy and raunchy, so I just thought they were doing a bit, like John Boy & Billy or Howard Stern. I got out of the shower, and realized that maybe they weren’t kidding.
I wrapped myself up in a towel and ran into the living room and turned the TV on. The news was showing the first tower on fire; seconds later, the second plane hit. I was paralyzed, and I started to cry. I called my mom in a panic. We both thought this was the end of the world, or at least the beginning of World War 3. It wasn’t long after that the Pentagon was hit, and the plane crashed in Pennsylvania. I didn’t know what to do. I lived in Connecticut at the time, right next to a submarine base. If we were under attack, why wouldn’t military bases be next? I tried to get ahold of my husband (my ex now) and the phones were busy all day. I didn’t know what else to do, so I went to school. Needless to say, no one could pay attention, and classes were canceled for the rest of the week.
I will never forget that day, or the weeks following. I was glued to my television, scared that more was coming. I know I wasn’t alone. A year later, I went to NYC on the 1-year anniversary of 9-11. It was one of the most beautiful days of my life. The city was sullen, but everyone came together to honor the lives that were lost. The city had an aura I’ll never forget. I can’t even describe it. It was hopeful and cautious at the same time, sad but cheerful. People sang in Washington Park with cops who danced alongside them. I was hesitant to go, but I’m so glad I went. It gave me a sense of closure, even though there was still so much more healing that NYC, America, and I had to do.
Take a few minutes today and watch this incredible video. Think of what you are grateful for, take pride in this great medium of radio we get to work in, the amazing people we get to work with and this beautiful country we live in.