I think those numbers will forever be ingrained in the minds of those of us alive for the last 6 years. Of course six years beyond the fact, it’s become one of those instances where people ask over and over, “Do you remember where you were when the Twin Towers went down?”
It’s funny how major historical events are milestoned in someone’s every day life. We all know how history on a larger scale deals with big events like this. It’s popped into a history book and later generations discuss the event as it relates to who we are as a country and how our relationship with other countries has changed as a direct or indirect result of this event. Perhaps that’s why history is so boring to so many. History is too big and too impersonal. Only when an event like this happens during someone’s lifetime, do they really embrace history. And it’s because of this question of where an individual was when the event happened. People are interested in knowing where their friends and family were at that period of time. Not necessarily where they were physically, but where they were in their lives. I think the unasked question is really, ‘At what point in your life did this happen? And more importantly, did it impact your life in any way?’ I’m sure at some level we’d like to know if the person asking was directly impacted – i.e. was at the event as it happened – or knows someone who was.
So here’s my answer to the question I may or may not be asked today:
In 2001, I was working for PetsMart, usually scheduled for the afternoon/evening shift, so I got to sleep late quite often. On the morning of the 11th of September, I got up reasonably early, around 8 o’clock. (Yes, 8 am was early at that time.) My younger brother was off work that day and was watching the Today Show which was airing the events as they happened. I woke between the destruction of the towers. Plane One had already hit the first tower. My aunt, also home from work that day, called to ask if we were watching the television. I told her we were and hung up. The rest of the morning I sat entranced before the television watching events unfold. I went to work later that day and all we did was talk about what had happened. I remember being scared that it would continue to happen, but the terrorists seemed to focus only on New York and the Pentagon.
Now, I ask you… where were you on 11 September 2001?