September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11

As most of you know, today is the 9 year anniversary of 9/11.  I remember that exact day, where I was, and all the emotions I felt that day.  I was a freshman in college.  I had just woken up and was in the shower getting ready to go to class listening to the radio, and that's when I heard that 2 planes had crashed into the World Trade Center.  I won't type the exact words that came out of my mouth.....but I was shocked.  I then hurried up and turned the television on and there it was, the 2 towers of the World Trade Center on fire.  I was speechless.  Then it was reported that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon.  That's when I called my mom (who worked on a military base).  I was scared.....very scared.  I knew that they were going to lock down the base, no one could leave, no one could get on.  I wanted my mom to come home, but the base was already on lock down.  My mom couldn't leave her building.  My dad also worked on base, and he couldn't leave his building.  So I got dressed and went to my first class, I didn't want to be by myself.  My first class had been cancelled, but our professor was there.  She was crying.  We all went into the main complex and gathered around the tv and watched as the towers fell.  I felt sick.  I then went to my second class and my professor tried to make everyone do an activity which involved reading our one read their book, no one did the activity.  We just sat there.  After spending a few more hours in front of the tv, I called my mom.  I had a tennis match scheduled that afternoon and our coach told us that we would still be playing.  My parents always went to my tennis matches, but because the base was still on lock down they wouldn't be able to make it.  I was very upset, I just wanted to see my parents.  Our tennis match was about an hour away and the van ride up there was silent.  We were all emotionally exhausted.  I remember looking out the window up at the sky, there were no planes in the sky.  We lost our tennis match that day, and we really could care less.  We just wanted to go home, I just wanted to see my parents.  When we arrived back at school, my mom was waiting for me in the parking lot.  She followed me home in which I had to stop for gas, I always wait until my gas light comes on to get gas.  Bad habit.  As we pulled into the gas station there was a long line....the longest line I had ever seen at a gas station.  People were saying that the price of gas was going to go way up etc.  I had never seen that before.  Then when we got home we turned on the tv and just watched.  They were searching for survivors.  I remember hearing the sound of wouldn't stop.  It was the PASS device on the firefighters uniforms, it wouldn't stop.  After crying for a good hour or so, my mom turned off the tv.  We were both exhausted.  My head felt like it was going to explode. 

Eight months later my dad had to go to New York City on a business trip.  My dad flew me there for the weekend and we went downtown and did the typical tourists activities.  One day we went and visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, then wondered around lower Manhattan.  I started to notice the closed subway stations and the empty buildings and that there were less amounts of people walking around.  Then I saw buildings with boarded up windows.  It was ground zero.  There was a huge hole in the ground blocked off by orange plastic fencing and bulldozers everywhere.  The area was surrounded by posters people had made, American flags, flowers, and stuffed animals.  My dad and I walked around and looked at all of the pictures of family members who had passed away and read the handwritten notes from their loved ones.  At one point, a man standing next to us turned and said to my dad, "I was in the 2nd tower that day" and the exact floor he was on.  I don't remember the exact floor he was on, I just remember him starting to cry.  My dad then reached out and hugged him, and we both started to cry.  To this day I have never forgotten that moment, and it still makes me cry.  After returning home and developing my pictures, I made a photo collage.  The whole experience was very moving for me.  September 11, 2001 was a day I'll never forget, and that photo collage still hangs in our living room.

IMG_5076 web

We will never forget.


Michelle said...

That's a beautiful collage Kristina... thanks for sharing what you remember... everyone's story is a little different but it's amazing how we were all affected in the same way.

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