Seven years ago today, I was in grad school in PA.
I remember rolling over in bed and turning on the news. Both towers had been hit. I was scared out of my mind. I called every family member in NY but, the line was busy.
I had no idea what was happening. I went to school to have the teacher cancel class. He said, "If you need to use our office phones to get in touch with your family, you may". I was the only one from NY and I blurted out, "I can't get in touch with them". Everyone just looked at me, quiet.
And then I went back to my apartment to wait. I remember driving and looking out over to the mountains in Bloomsburg, towards NY. I was so helpless.
My dad worked in the area and I had no idea what to do.
Then I finally got through to my aunt, also in PA. She knew nothing either. But she asked me to come to stay with her in Reading. I didn't want to leave my place until I hear from my family. I needed to be where they could find me if they got through.
I called and called. Busy busy busy..then finally a ring,
" Your call can not be connected due to the tornado in the area".
That was when I lost it. Really. I just wanted to get into a car and drive home but, I knew I wouldn't get home.
So, I waited and finally I got my mom at work. Everyone was okay and she was getting her stuff together to go volunteer at NYC hospitals to help survivors. She is a nurse. But, there was no one to be helped. She was turned away at the place where they were all supposed to meet to get assignments.
I couldn't get into NY to see my family for over a week. Then they finally allowed people over the bridges. I got home as soon as I could. I believe it was the second weekend after 9/11.
I will never forget how good it was to hold my family. Never.
And because of that day I will never live far away from my family again. Never.
I have NEVER felt so helpless and alone in my life. I hope to never feel that way again. I couldn't even hold the ones that I loved that were in NY watching this horror unfold. I couldn't do anything.
Tonight when I look out in my front yard I will see the tribute in lights from NYC. And I will never forget. Never.
I was one of the lucky ones who didn't lose any close family or friends. Of course, I knew people who knew people. But, I did lose something that many American's lost. The feeling of security and safety. I can remember jumping everytime I heard a low flying plane. In fact I still look up. I think I always will.
God Bless those who lost family and friends. This day is awful.
Where were you?
6 days ago