Always remember…today is a memorable date because life for us in the US changed. Out of the loss and fear came solidarity, collaboration, empowerment, and strength. We remember where we were, we remember what we lost, and we also realize what we have found through this tragic event on 09/11.
I will always remember waking up, checking my schedule for the day and realizing I had a meeting at 6:00 PM at WTC that day, I never had to be in that area, but on this day, I was scheduled to be. I headed to the gym for my AM routine, and that is when the first plane hit. I actually still continued to get ready for work! Can you imagine! I thought it was some idiot that flew too low, I didn’t know it was an attack, until I got home and saw the second plane hit, and the towers start to crumble down. I stayed home and watched, but I also listened. Outside the streets of NY had stopped. The phone connections were going in and out, and slowly I got through to my office in SF to let them know I was OK, and my family to make sure they knew as well. I housed people walking up from downtown to up town that were stuck with no transportation and provided a pit stop for them to rest and refuel and be on their way. And then I prayed. I prayed no more harm would come to the people of NY, for the families that were impacted, and especially prayed that no one I directly knew was gone from this horrible day. I was very fortunate not get any more devastating news , I can’t say the same for some of my friends. They are all in my thoughts today.
The days to follow were a bit of a blur. I realized I had gone into survival mode and just pushed through life. I walked the 40 blocks down to my office to get my laptop so I could log in from home and check in with my team in SF. That day I could just walk right into my building. There was no security check back then, you could just go straight up. My office was in the Chrysler building, one of the other main targets in NYC. When I was walking, I could feel the particles from the crumbled buildings in the air, all the way up on the upper East side. What it must have been like for the people at Ground Zero, I can only imagine.
Then each day passed, and NY got back on it’s feet. The US got back on it’s feet and we all moved forward. We all started to travel again. I think I was in San Francisco only 2 weeks later to focus on my work. People came together to mourn the loss of those departed. People started to heal. When this day comes each year, I am reminded of how short life can be. How each day matters so much! How I choose to live a life that excites me because I can! Life is precious, and must be savored. I am reminded of those I have lost, at different times in my life, and celebrate them and what they were able to accomplish while here. I think of those who have lost more than I have, and am here to listen and console them to heal so they can move forward to take advantage of the life they have right now.
I will always remember. Feel free to share with me what you will always remember, if it helps you heal and move forward.