I forgot what today's date was until I was driving to work this morning. They were getting ready to observe the moment of silence marking when the first plane hit the WTC. I remember seven years ago today like it was yesterday. I found out about the World Trade Center when the alarm on my clock radio went off. It was set so the radio came on instead of the buzzer. I think I had hit the snooze the first time, because the first thing I remember hearing was the DJ saying this couldn't be an accident. Two planes couldn't hit the same building only minutes apart.
I ran into the next room and turned on the TV, then picked up the phone and attempted to call my best friend, Jen. She was living in Manhattan at the time. I was pretty sure she wouldn't have been in the building, but I just needed to be sure. She was inbetween jobs at the time, and sometimes she went to the half-price ticket booth on the ground floor for Broadway tickets or to go to the bank. The only time I was ever in the twin tower was with her to buy tickets to a Broadway show.
Of course, I couldn't get through to her. Getting calls through to Manhattan that day was nearly impossible. Not knowing what else to do, I went to work and listened to the radio coverage as events unfolded -- the plane hitting the Pentagon, all planes being grounded, the plane crashing in the field in Pennsylvania. What was going to happen next?
Jen e-mailed me that afternoon to let me know that she and her boyfriend Jonathan were safe. They had watched the towers fall from the roof of their apartment building on the upper west side. I sat at my desk and cried when I read the e-mail.
That night and the days to follow I watched the TV coverage for hours. I knew we would never be the same. Everything had changed one Tuesday morning in September.