Remembering 9/11 (10 Years Later)

How is it that some things seem like they happened just the other day and at the same time seem to have happened so long ago? That is how I see 9/11.

September 11, 2011 started out like most of my other days. I woke up to get my son off to school. My boyfriend (at the time) had just been laid off a few days prior and was figuring out his next professional move. I was working in the ADT billing call center in Norcross, Georgia. I had only been a resident of Atlanta for a year and a half, but my co-workers at the call center had become my second family.

Just like every day I clocked in at 8 am, sat in my cubicle and started making my daily outbound calls. The goal was to make a minimum of 90 calls. My team leader Reginald Bernard a New York native was a few cubicles over and received and email from one of his friends from home shortly after the plane hit the first twin tower. “Oh my God!” I heard him say. He stood up and made the announcement, “A plane just crashed into one of the twin towers.” The whole call center gasped. We all took a moment to look at his email, turn on the news, look online, and call loved ones that were in and around NY.” Everyone assumed that it was a tragic accident. We prayed for those that were on the plane and in the tower.

Approximately 15 minutes later we witnessed another plane run into the second Twin Tower. This is a cruel prank I thought to myself. There’s absolutely no way that BOTH towers can be hit by planes right after another. Then our General Manager who was a Sergeant in the Military told us to temporarily shut down what we were doing for a quick emergency meeting. He didn’t know much, but we went to the break room to turn on the TV and witnessed the horror. Most of us just stood in shock and amazement, others cried, I remember Denise Williams crying and telling everyone, “If you ain’t right, you betta get right.” We couldn’t get through to a lot of people on the phones because the phones were jammed. I didn’t know of anyone in NY so I stopped trying. I figured my family in Indiana, we’re all safe and out of harms way, I’ll let the people who actually have emergencies use the air waves.

As soon as we were able to almost wrap our heads around what was going on we received the news of a third plane crashing in Pennsylvania; shortly after that into the Pentagon. Oh my God, we’re under attack! For the first time in my life I was scared that ANY THING could happen to any one anywhere in the United States. I felt like I was in a third world country, I felt like it was the ‘old days’ where you could see the war battle fields from your back yard. Then I was angry! How DARE they come over here and attack us with our own planes!!! We are Americans!!! (I wasn’t even sure of who, THEY were). When I looked up at the TV I could see people jumping out of windows of the Twin Towers. You could hear the ‘SPLATS’ on the ground. At first I didn’t get it, or maybe I just didn’t want to believe it, but it was exactly what it was. People were jumping to their deaths. Dear God help us! It was no longer about us being Americans, or innocent civilians. This was far more extreme than any movie scene. This was real life. A real life attack, real life people in despair, real life terrorist. They weren’t on TV any more; they were right in our back yards. The people in the towers got up that morning, dropped off their kids and went to work just like I did. The people on the plane were going on a trip of fun or business or whatever. The crew just like me and the people in the towers were just going to work. It just goes to prove anything can happen. It could’ve been me or one of my loved ones!

It was obvious that everyone was too shaken up to return to work. The General Manager shut down the office for the rest of the day and sent us all home. I picked up my son from school and stayed home with my boyfriend and son for the rest of the day. The news kept showing a face and name of Osama Bin Laden. I didn’t know who he was prior to that day, but I didn’t appreciate him attacking us like that. How do you harbor so much hate in your heart that you attack and kill innocent people?

I remember Mayor Rudolph Giuliani making a statement on the news that even though all of this, there hadn’t been any looting or riots. I was amazed and overjoyed. Why does it take a tragedy to bring unity?

There are moments in all of our lives that you will never forget. This is one those moments for all of us. For those who lost their lives, lost loved ones, survived, were injured, volunteered or was involved in any aspect my heart still goes out to you. New York, the victims of 9/11, you will NEVER be forgotten.

God Bless America.


3 comments so far

  1. Star Lite on

    Wow Leah Leah. I just relived that day all over again. That was an awful day and I remember it vividly, the way that you explained it. It angers me every time I think about it. We welcomed those people in this country with open arms, thought we educating and training them to be productive citizens of society and in return they……

  2. Reginald Williams on

    That was a day that changed us,the way we see the world and the folks we share it with……”if you ain’t right,better get right” the good news is God is still waiting w/ open arms.

  3. I know, I know. That was a VERY hard day. Like I said a day I’ll never forget. Thx for taking the time out to read it. 😀

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