It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years already; one decade.
September 11, 2001 was a doubly dark day for me. I was off that morning from my full-time network radio shift. It was a Tuesday and I was up before 6am at the computer, writing my mother’s eulogy. Her funeral was scheduled for early that afternoon. She had died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease a week earlier.
As I was writing and reminiscing about my early childhood, I was carefully putting thoughts and words into place, typing what I would say at her graveside later in the day.
At that time, I hadn’t really thought too much lately about my early days growing up in Staten Island, New York, and certainly never wrote about them since my family moved out to the Inland Empire so long ago.
I was putting down my thoughts and recalling my days taking the ferry boat across the way from Staten Island to Manhattan for shopping trips, taking the New York subways with my parents and twin brother, seeing Hansel and Gretel on Broadway, seeing the Statue Of Liberty during the ferry boat rides, seeing the Empire State Building while spending days in New York City, building snowmen in the winter. I hadn’t thought of all this in one sitting in many many years, but was stringing all those memories together of living on the east coast to share during my mother’s funeral.
All of a sudden, I got an “IM” from an old friend of mine. It popped onto the computer screen as I was writing about New York. “We’re being attacked! Thousands of people have been killed. The World Trade Center in New York City is on fire. We’re in World War III!!! Turn on your TV. It’s on there right now!!” My long-time friend Bob was typing on the other side of cyberspace.
I ran to the television and found CNN. There that horrible scene was. It was unbelievable. I couldn’t get over the fact that at the very same time I was writing about my childhood New York memories, something I’d never done in my life, that very city was under enemy attack! It was surreal.
All of the planes flying over the country were grounded and later that day, as I was standing outside and reading to the gathering of my mother’s friends and relatives from my typewritten notes about my childhood in New York, it was a very quiet funeral at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Riverside.
The worst attack in history on United States soil and my mother’s funeral, both on the same day. 9-11-01 was a very dark day for me, personally, and as an American.
I still think about all of those innocent people who started off their day that day, not knowing it would be their last one on earth. I think about the passengers on Flight 93; the passengers on the two other planes and their cell phone calls to their loved ones, knowing that they were probably doomed, the thousands of people in the Twin Towers, some jumping out to their deaths to escape the flames, most perishing in the buildings. It was an awful morning, a dreadful day, and it feels to me, like a part of every one of us also died in those flames, ten years ago.
May God bless every one of those innocent people who fell victim to the madness.