Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our Remembrance of September 11th 2001

Do You Remember where you were on 9/11/01

  I remember it well. I was away from home for work. At that time we have lived in Ozone Park, NY and our first child, Katelynn, was only 16 months old. I was in New Albany, Indiana. The construction site I was on had very limited communications but one of my technicians knew I was from NYC. He had informed me a plane had crashed into the Empire State Building. I had dismissed it and kept on working. Then a few moments later that same technician had told me that the second building had been hit. At this point I was totally confused as I only knew of One Empire State building. We turned on the local radio station and that was when my whole world changed. I quickly learned the buildings the technician was talking about were the World Trade Centers and I was in disbelief. 

 I quickly tried to call my wife, mother, father, sister, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law-to-be, all in the NYC area. None of my calls went through and because my cell phone was a NYC number, no one could call me either. Text messaging got through and found out all but one of my family were safe. My brother-in-law-to-be was working the primary polls down on Chambers Street, Ground Zero. My thoughts went rampant. I had only received info that he had walked through lower Manhattan, across the bridge into Brooklyn and finally to his home in Queens about 2am after the towers fell.

 I had such an adrenaline rush that I was able to complete my responsible tasks at work in 1/3rd the time as normal. I was complete by Wednesday afternoon. I tried to book a flight home but all flights had been grounded, so I started the drive back home. At this time I knew my family was safe, the towers had fallen but I still had an emptiness in me that is to this day, is indescribable.

 The drive across the country was a long one. No one was on the roads. My boss had met me in Ohio, so we caravanned the rest of the way east bound across 84. We had stopped and spent the night in the Red Roof Inn in Scranton. At this point I found out that all NYC bridges had been closed for inbound traffic. My boss continued on to the Boston area to get home safe. I called my wife and parents to tell them to come out to the Poconos, where I booked my time share week to stay.

 I had reached the resort and was there hours before the rest of them. I kept busy with items for work till they arrived. Then the emotions ran free. My daughter was in my arms, wife and family safe and at my side. We spent the week there, even though I had to continue my travel and responsibilities for work. It was also the point in time that my wife and I decided to relocate to the Poconos.

 While my entire family came out alive during the 9/11 terror attacks, my cousin, a NYC FireFighter and First Responder is now experiencing symptoms of the 9/11 terror attacks. I am grateful for my sisters engagement party the weekend prior, that put my cousin on the opposite shift of first responders, otherwise we would have not been so lucky.

 The next big remembrance of this horrible event was when I went to the roof to re-aim our TV antenna. It was a clear day, cold and crisp. I get to the roof top and see nothing. Aiming my antenna in the past was easy just point it to the Twin Towers. Now it was just empty sky.

 It was a few months till I had to fly again for work. It was longer to get through security but nothing too bad. I don't even remember where I was going to, I only remember my return. Approach into LaGuardia airport normally takes you across lower Manhattan. This flight it did and there wasn't a sound from a person on the plane that could be heard as the pilot lowered the wing for us to see the two beams of light reaching to the heavens. I was lucky to sit on the side of the plane that had the best view. I took in the view, closed my eyes and leaned back into my seat to let the others a chance to see. I remember the look on everyones faces as I opened my eyes. The gentleman sitting next to me thanked me when we landed for sitting back to let him view it, he had lost his son in the attacks and it just hit me again. I shook his hand and patted him on the back.

 I take this time to remember all of those who have been affected by that day. Pause to remember all of the innocent people that had lost their life, without knowing what was going on. Remember those at the Pentagon. Remember those that perished on the plane in the field in PA. Remember all of the First Responders that lost their lives trying to save others. Remember the First Responders and Search & Rescue Heros that are now suffering an affliction related to working in the horrible conditions immediately after the attacks. Remember the children that are now without their parents.

Just Remember and Keep Them ALL In Your Prayers.
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