I remember it like it was yesterday. I live in NY, about 30 miles north of NYC. Crystal clear morning is what I remember. Deep blue sky and not a cloud to be seen. I was at work that morning like many others when we heard about the first plane. We set up a TV in an office and watched. Eyes glued to the TV. Around noon there were reports that bridges in our area would be closed. Since I need to cross one of those bridges to get back home I decided to leave the office. I really thought the roads would be packed, but they weren’t. On a clear day like it was that day you can see the George Washington Bridge along with the NYC skyline as you cross the bridge I go across. As I crossed the bridge that day and looked to my left towards NYC I could see the blue sky filled with smoke over NYC and you could almost smell it as well. I guess at that point everything became real and very close to me. I thought about what must be going on down there.Needless to say I wanted to get home to my family. Of course we watched the news all night long. My kids were young and really didn’t understand what was happening. As we sat and ate dinner that night you could not help but notice the unusual quiet outside due to the order to ground all flights. Except for one helicopter late in the evening flying overhead, followed by an air force fighter jet following it. We learned the next day that some kind of county government person had a helicopter fly him home from Albany without clearance. A fighter jet was sent up to shoot him down if the helicopter did not identify itself. Of course I could never confirm all of this, but to see the fighter jet fly over my development was such a site.
I made it down to the World Trade center site a year later and of course at that point the area was cleaned of all the rubble and there was nothing except a big hole in the ground. We collected all the magazines and newspapers from the weeks and months that followed. I watch all the shows that come on every year on 9/11. Even as I write this I’m watching a 9/11 special. So many lives lost and for no reason. The day will of course always be remembered for those who lost their lives, those who tried to save lives, those who saved lives and those who lost their lives trying to save others. I watch these 9/11 specials and listen to the stories and just shake my head in amazement that it happened even eight years later.
DVD’s that I feel capture everything about that day…
In Memoriam, an HBO special with Rudy Giuliani
9/11, a special which features two brothers doing a documentary on rookie firefighters
World Trade Center, an Oliver Stone movie with Nicholas Cage
A 9/11 book that I believe is a must read…
Last Man Down, about FDNY Battalion Commander Richard Picciotto