It feels sort of silly to write about grief on September 11th. Mainly because everything that can be said, probably already has. An event so far-reaching, that didn't leave a single person unaffected, well, what is left? I'm extraordinarily lucky in that the events of September 11th didn't take the lives of anyone I knew. My recollection of the events of that day are much like most people, plastered to the television in disbelief.
I had just moved out to Seattle from Milwaukee. I believe my roommate and I were here since Saturday, and wasn't the 11th on a Tuesday that year? Due to the time difference, it was pretty early here when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. My sister called, waking up my roommate, to tell us the news. I got out of bed and was talking to her while my roommate tried to set up our television. We got the worst reception, we pretty much watched through fuzz. I was still on the phone with my sister when the second plane hit. We immediately knew, as did the rest of the world, that something far beyond a simple accident had occured.
There wasn't much else to do at that point besides sit and watch. My brother, his girlfriend and their young daughter lived in Brooklyn, just across the East River from Manhattan. I didn't have reason to believe they were anywhere near the towers, but it was still nerve wracking. I didn't even try to call them, I knew they would reach us as soon as they got a chance. My roommate was from New Jersey, so he was very familiar with New York City and was concerned about his friends and family. It felt really lonely to be out here, so far away from everyone I loved.
Later that day my roommate and I just tried to go about our lives as usual, making a trip to the local food co-op. He and I chatted with the beer and wine buyer there, sharing that we had recently relocated to the area and how the events earlier that day seemed straight out of a summer blockbuster action flick. He sent us home with some free beer, to welcome us to Washington. I don't remember if I spoke to my brother later that night or not. They were all fine. He did send pictures of the towers. I wish I still had them. From the roof of his building he watched the whole thing happen. I couldn't imagine seeing it all in person. It was so surreal watching it get re-played over and over on television. Of course, viewing it on the tiny t.v. no where near did the devastation justice.
I have only been to New York City once in my life. I actually got to see the WTC as my friend and I walked around lower Manhattan. They were the most amazing buildings I had ever seen. It is truly hard to fathom how tall they both were. How many people they both held. How many lives were lost that day.
So, that's my "where were you on September 11th" story. Pretty simple. My heart goes out to those who friends and family were lost on that day.