Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

I was at my old apartment in Coram, New York.  It was a two car garage converted into a little living space.  A couple of weeks before, there was a fire in the house it was attached to.  Thankfully the fire didn't spread to the apartment, but there was water damage and smoke damage so a lot was still lost.

I was moving things out of the apartment and into storage.  I was completely unplugged as I had no power in the apartment and the radio in my car was broken.  I got to work just before 10AM.  I worked at Blockbuster and back then we were partnered with DirecTV so we had a television kiosk in the store.  My coworker was tuned to the news.  

"What's going on?" I asked her.

"I don't know, I just turned it on.  Something happened at the World Trade Center." She told me.

"Again?" I thought it might be another bombing.  It wasn't.

We watched the coverage endlessly.  We shed a lot of tears.  No one came in the store that day as they were all probably glued to their own TVs or to their phones trying to reach out to relatives.  

I kept trying to call my two sisters who lived and worked in the Manhattan area.  I couldn't get through, but I finally managed to contact my parents who had spoken to both of them.  They were OK.  I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.  

Watching the towers fall was something I will never, ever forget.  Ever.  Sometimes it feels like it was just days ago.  Something I see or hear will trigger all sorts of emotions from that day.  What a tragedy.  All the lives lost, so sad.  People say it's time to forget it all, but how can you? There is so much to remember.

In the days that followed, being a New Yorker was amazing.  There was such a sense of camaraderie and patriotism.  You spoke to anyone you saw.  You helped in any way you could.  We collected change and food and blankets and water.  Anything and everything we could to provide some help to someone who needed it.  Everywhere you turned there was an American flag or some form of red, white, and blue.  It was beautiful.  But it was caused by so much pain and fear.

When I moved to South Carolina, I tried to avoid it, but eventually I ended up listening to country music.  It was inevitable.  The song that started it all was by Toby Keith, Courtesy of the Red White and Blue.  It still gives me chills to listen to it today.

 God bless America!

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