I had just started freshman year of college and my mom encouraged me to take golf classes as she thought it would be a valuable skill to learn once I started my career. Having no interest in golf, I reluctantly signed up for an introductory course.
Even back in college I was never an “early riser” so if it wasn’t for my mom pushing me to join a class I never wanted to in the first place, I never would have been awake for such a historic day.
I got to the gym around 8:50a, 10 minutes before class was supposed to start. The gym was completely empty which confused me because I would have assumed that other students would have been there. I sat down and watched the TV to kill time when I saw one of the towers on fire. At first I thought I was watching a movie and then I realized I was watching the news. At first, they weren’t sure what happened – kitchen explosion?
Instead of watching this historic event unfold on the TV at the gym, I raced home to watch it in my first floor dorm room. Knowing what I was watching was historic, I woke up my friends on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors. As we had all just moved onto campus, I was one of the few people with a TV. We huddled around the TV and saw the 2nd plane crash.
Our entire worlds changed.
Knowing my dad worked a few blocks away from the Twin Towers at the Federal Reserve Bank, I tried calling my parents to confirm everyone was OK but I couldn’t get through to them until the afternoon. The phone lines were overloaded.
I eventually found out my dad was fine but he did get caught in the dust storm that was created when the towers crashed but he ducked into a deli for safety. I am thankful that nothing happened to my father who has always been a survivor : Vietnam War veteran, Cancer survivor, 9/11 bystander.
The attack on 9/11 wasn’t just an attack against my fellow New Yorkers or fellow Americans – it was an attack against humanity. Using a mode of mass transportation to inflict death and terror is something that should never happen again. Listening to voicemails from the passengers that were saying their final goodbyes to their loved ones remains extremely difficult to listen to today.
Looking back on the events of 9/11, it’s strange to imagine that I had just left my home of New York City for the first time just a few days before the attacks. Already feeling and being isolated on a college campus and having your hometown attacked by terrorists was an emotional experience and one that I’ll never forget. We should never forget.
Today my heart goes out to every victim, family member and friend that was affected by 9/11. NEVER FORGET 🇺🇸