A huge panoramic image of the Manhattan skyline from the Jersey City bluffs, post 9-11
A huge panoramic image of the Manhattan skyline from the Jersey City bluffs, post 9-11

It was just another Tuesday morning. My son, Sam, had just started back to school in Dana Point, CA. My mother and a friend were visiting us from Florida. I was up early, making coffee, getting the kitchen prepped for the morning meal with our guests, packing a lunch for Sam. As I listened to the Today show, I suddenly heard the urgency in Katie Couric’s voice, and I stopped what I was doing and moved into the family room. Just as I was positioned squarely in front of the television, I watched the second plane crash into the twin towers. And I screamed! I screamed for what was happening right in front of my eyes. I screamed for my family to come down and see for themselves. I screamed for the men, women and children in those buildings. I couldn’t talk, I could only stare in horror at the tv screen.

I had never experienced anything like it, and I pray with all my heart that I never will again. Friends and neighbors were unable to get flights home. Almost everyone I knew had a family member in New York who worked in or near the World Trade Center. No one could find their family members. We all prayed for the police and firemen who went into the towers to try and rescue people. Then we prayed some more for those who were trapped forever when the towers came down. For Days we could do nothing more than watch the incessant news reports, hoping for more people to be found alive and safe. That didn’t happen. Instead more people were declared dead.

When I was in my early 20’s, as a Systems Analyst for Inforex, I visited the twin towers. It was something I will never forget. Those towers, rising so high in the Manhattan skyline. being up on top of the tower, in a restaurant, looking out over the city, was magical. I was a young women who had only  been outside of New England one other time, and that was on a senior trip with girlfriends when we graduated high school. At the time the legal drinking age in New York was 18, and in New England it was 21, so graduates from our area often went to New York for our celebrations. Back in those days New York was falling into disrepair and it was a pretty grimy place to be, but we didn’t care, it was NEW YORK!!

Now, watching the tv, the feeling of desolation, of pure numbness, interrupted by bouts of fierce anger, foretold of a world that would be changed forever from that day on. What the terrorist didn’t understand is that what they did galvanized us, it only frightened us temporarily, then it just made us mad.

When the anniversary of this day comes around, some people will be sad, some of the younger people might not even understand all of the fuss, but those of us who were in middle age, we will remember the day all too well..

Cindy Fletcher