I'm just sayin'

Where Were You…

on September 11, 2012

Eleven years ago today life as we knew it changed. The actions of Osama Bin Laden and his band of  terrorists on September 11th 2001 had a tsunami size ripple effect in our nation. Well, all over the world for that matter. Bin Laden is a household name now, whereas not many had heard of him before the attacks on the World Trade Center. It is one of those incidents in life that you will always remember where you were, what you were doing when you heard the devastating news, just like the John F Kennedy assassination. I was in school, in the sixth grade, when I heard the news of our president being killed in Texas. I’m curious at what age news such as that is memorable to a kid.

On 9/11, as we all call it now, I was on Long Island, New York with plans of flying home to California later that day.  Obviously, that didn’t happen! At the time of the first plane flying into the WTC, which was early in the morning EST, I was watching Dora the Explorer – not by choice 🙂 with my two little nephews. Their mother called me on her way to an appointment and said, “You have to turn on channel seven. A plane just flew into the World Trade Center.” So, I turned to channel seven and about that time the second plane could be seen heading towards the burning tower and the news commentators where talking about something having gone awry with a satellite navigational system. They didn’t know, they were fumbling for theories as to what went wrong. Then as we all were watching, some on the streets of  NYC, some in nearby high rises and those of us watching live broadcast, the second plane hit the World Trade Center. “Holy Moly,” I said. Or something close to that! I could hardly believe what I just witnessed. I knew this was huge, I called people in the Pacific Standard Time locations because most of them were still in bed, it was about 6 a.m.

While I sat mesmerized by the news, my niece’s husband came home from his office and walking in the door he said, ” This has got to be Bin Laden.”  Honestly, that is the first time I remember hearing Bin Laden’s name. Although, it definitely will not be the last. This event has surely been written into school children’s history lessons. Right?  So, between watching the news and hearing speculations who my family knew that might have been in the city that day, I wondered how the heck do I get home. I was on an island with no flights any time soon, couldn’t rent a car because I would have had to drive via the city to get out of the state, no buses could go that way either. Maybe take a ferry up to Connecticut and catch a bus from there. Who knew how long everything would be shut down? And at that time we still didn’t know for sure what went wrong. And when they did figure it to be terrorists nobody knew if there were other plans of attacks such as the train system the freeways, who knew?  Well, amazingly I was able to get on a plane 4 days later. But let me tell you, the airports were a madhouse. The passengers traveling on my flight were huddled near the gate waiting for affirmation ‘everything was a go’ –  it turned out we had no crew. We had passengers and a plane but no one to fly it or serve us our peanuts. I don’t remember who told us why we were just waiting there but shortly after our crew showed up the crowd cheered. Nobody’s ever done that for me when I’ve showed up for work!

Some of my fellow passengers were concerned about flying. But I believed that the same case scenario could never happen again. I don’t think anybody, able-bodied, would let it happen. I’m not saying somebody wouldn’t try to do it again, but nowadays, I’m pretty sure any ruckus on a plane would have even Al Roker’s mom beating them with an umbrella. My heart is heavy with thoughts of those closely affected by the tragedy. And I’m sorry for all the changes that have come because of it. I know the new rules and guidelines are necessary but every time I have to take my shoes off at the airport I am reminded as to why we  have to do it. I hope all those who lost their lives rest in peace and their families have some peace in their hearts.


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