10 NYC Bloggers Remember 9/11: “Tomorrow May Not Come, So I Live for Today”
In honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, ten New York bloggers reflect on their memories of the day and their hopes for the future.
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since that fateful September 11th, when the world as we knew it changed forever. In honor of the day, we asked ten New York City bloggers to share their memories, how their lives have changed since we watched the towers fall, and their hopes for the future of the world…
Lorna Solano, The Fabulous Report
Remembering September 11 is very hard for me; it’s not an experience I choose to relive because the day was (and still is) the scariest moment of my life. I worked very close to the Towers (at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York offices) so I was in the office when the second plane hit. I remember our building shaking. And then we realized we were being attacked. The realization resulted in complete and utter confusion in our office. Do we wait for higher-ups to tell us to go home? Or do we just leave and deal with the consequences later? My co-worker and I went with the latter. When we left, we saw people everywhere screaming, panicking, looking for taxis and looking confused. And we just started walking, following the crowd. We eventually made it to the bridge, where we saw the first tower fall (it wasn’t till I got home that I realized that both had fallen), that experience was surreal. It felt like the end of the world.
But, in the mist of all the gloom, I saw and experienced so much kindness. I saw strangers help those who needed support. I saw some carry those who could not walk over the bridge. I witnessed strangers calm the frightened and was grateful when thoughtful souls offered water to the thirsty. In that sense, I try to cherish these memories
In the days following the attack, America was united. We were one! Strangers asked, “How are you doing?” with earnest. Everyone seemed to care for the person next door, whether they knew them or not. I can’t say that I still feel that way anymore, but I hope that for the tenth year anniversary, we are able to unite as nation once more. But more importantly, I hope this doesn’t happen to us or any other country ever again.
How has my life changed since 9/11? Well, I was fairly young when 9/11 happened but, the experience definitely made me aware of danger. It also inspired me to take risks. Yes, I am cautious but I am also optimistic. Yet, I try not to live my in fear (I was also in London when the July bombings happened and was also close), because I want to live to the fullest. Tomorrow may not come… so I live for today.
I have many terrible memories of that day, but the one that I think about regularly is that I was walking my then 3-year-old daughter to school. As we crossed 6th Avenue, we heard loud, loud noise, and my daughter looked up and said “samolyet”, the Russian word for airplane. I assumed it was just a regular plane that she’d spotted. It took me a few days to realize that she’d looked up and seen the first plane that hit the World Trade Center.
My biggest hope for the future, beside world peace, prosperity for all, end of all diseases and shorter lines at Starbucks? A safer world. I’d like my children to know what it’s like not to worry about terrorism.
How has my life changed since 9/11? I am ten years older. And so are the members of my family. And I know how lucky I am and don’t take it for granted for a second.
I was working at AOL in Dulles, VA, and they evacuated us because they thought that the terrorists might attack AOL’s headquarters. Remember, at that time half the country used AOL to get on the internet so it seemed like a possibility. However I decided to stay and help the news team rather than go home to Washington, DC, which seemed like a more likely target.
9/11 made me realize that life is short and that I didn’t want to work for a corporation anymore. So, I moved back to NYC and started my own company a couple of years later.
My biggest hope for the future is that everyone can become more tolerant of each other’s beliefs. Why can’t we live and let live?
Makeda Saggau-Sackey, The Glamazon Diaries
I heard of the attacks as I was coming out of a psychology class during my freshman year of college in North Carolina. The air was thick with anxiousness, fear and condolences because so many people were lost. I still, to this day, cannot get the images of desperation and hope I saw on the television as people tried to escape from the World Trade Center towers by jumping out. But the tragic day ended up being one of the most well-learned lessons of humanity. Friends, family and strangers all came together to help one another by lending their phones to call loved ones, consoling and assuring each other that things would be all right. I was 18 at that time and all I could do was to pray for the families and souls of everyone lost during the attacks.
I thought life was rosy back in 2001; I was 18 and naive. Honestly I made it to college thinking I was untouchable, unstoppable, invincible. But maybe every 18-year-old thinks that. After the attacks on 9/11, I learned to be more vigilant of everything; but perhaps the greatest lesson was from my mother, who told me that living in fear was the equivalent of giving up on dreams. I guess you can say I’m more of a fighter now.
Melissa Chapman, The Staten Island Family
My eldest child, who is now 10 years old, was just five months old. I was in a haze of postpartum depression, laying in a dark room, trying to get my incredibly colicky baby to get comfortable. I was very focused on myself at the time and felt this real sense of being cut off from others in this new bubble of motherhood, and I was lonely. I remember lying on my couch with the TV on in the background, and all of a sudden there was this report that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. It seemed unreal — I thought it was one of those small planes, an accident — but it was terrifying. And then when the second plane hit, I truly thought, “We are under attack, I’m not safe anymore,” and it shook me to my core.
I think we live in a world that is nothing like it was pre-9/11, and my kids have never experienced not living under the fear and threat of a terrorist attack. Unfortunately this kind of warfare is nothing like the sanitized ones of our past, because the enemy is relentless and more than willing to sacrifice his or her own life to take ours under the guise of a religion. Honestly I worry about it a lot, and my hope is that we can find a way to honor each other and our religions in a way that doesn’t include mass destruction and death.
I live on Staten Island, and I was here on 9/11. We lost so many lives, and so many were those first responders: firefighters, police officers and EMTs. We were hit so hard, it is a part of our culture here. We have many streets named after firefighters and loved ones taken too soon. It is our new kind of normal, something we all live with on a daily basis, and it is a huge change in the way I look at my world and that of my kids. There truly is no soft place to fall — nowhere that is safe — and for me that is the most tragic after-effect of 9/11.
I also know that I look at my life and that of my family so differently, that every day is not a given, it’s a granted one, and every morning could be our last chance to kiss the ones we love and hold them tight. And so I try hard as I can to keep that top of mind. Always.