A lot has happened in 10 years.
In July 2001, I got married. We were not able to go on our honeymoon until two weeks later, so the day after the wedding, we headed into the city to spend a wonderful night at the Peninsula Hotel. To make the evening even more special, we went to dinner at Windows on the World. I remember walking in the building. I remember the elevator ride. I remember that I had a Lobster Bisque. I remember that I looked at the beautiful views of the night skyline. Breathtaking.
In September 2001, I started a new teaching position in Westchester. I was very happy to begin working closer to home. September 11 was the first full day of kindergarten. When I brought the class to library at 10:00, I remember seeing teachers talking with such sad looks on their faces. I felt that something was not right. I went to the office and I could tell by the look on the principal’s face that something was dreadfully wrong.
He told me that planes had hit the World Trade Center. My heart stopped. My brother was working across the street on Broadway. From that point on, many of the activities of the day were a blur. No cell phones were working. I remember congregating in a room during lunch looking at a TV seeing for the first time what was going on.
That afternoon, the class had rest time for the first time and then, we painted. I put music on an created a calm atmosphere for all of us. At dismissal, we waited patiently as all the parents came to pick up their children. In my class, everyone showed up.
The World Trade Center was a part of my life for a long time. Before retiring, my father worked there. I worked in the Limited down below where all the buildings were connected. I remember shopping down there often. Other years, my brother, sister, and I all held summer jobs in 4 World Trade.
When I went home that day, I remember going to my neighbor’s basement and watching with them and my parents for the first time all the tragedy that had happened during the day.
A few weeks later, I took the train ride that I had taken many times before. I got off at Fulton Street like I had done many times before. Such sadness. We made it down before they demolished what was left of 4 World Trade. The devastation and smell is something that I will remember forever. I did not take pictures. I didn’t need too. These pictures are as vivid today as they were 10 years ago.
Today, we reflect on those who lost their lives on this day. Today we think about those who gave their lives trying to help others.
We will never forget.