Ten years is a long time, often when I look back on a moment, a day, a memory is feels like yesterday. For September 11th 2001 it feels like years and years ago. However I think like other life changing moments in my life I can still remember the thoughts, feelings and reactions that I had that day.
It was like any other fall Tuesday and I was off to class. I was finished University and moved back home briefly with my parents while I worked full time, went to school part time and paid off my student loan. It was a very middle time in my life where I had lived on my own and been completely independent and self sufficient and then returned back to my childhood bedroom.
That morning I had class at 11 downtown so I didn’t have to wake early but I did and I was getting ready for class pottering around my room with the television on watching Good Morning America (I’m pretty sure it was this and not the Today show) when they cut in to announce that a plan had hit the WDC tower, I sat at the end of the bed and watched, but I remember thinking that was weird, not shock or disbelief. There was confusion on the news, what size plane no one was quite sure what happened and they chatted about it for several minutes when I remember watching a life feed when the second plane hit the second tower.
I then called my dad at work, explaining what had happened he didn’t believe me. As someone who works in shipping he deals with a number of companies in the World Trade Centre as the Port Authority is (was) based there. He didn’t believe me and I kept saying that he needed to go on the internet – which was nothing like that of today – or to find a television. He was due to leave for New York for business either that afternoon or certainly for a meeting the following day. He wasn’t going.
Mostly I remember the confusion that day, from the beginnings on television, trying to understand what was happening in different places in the United States and reaching a level of uncertainty – do I go to class in one of the taller buildings in Montreal, will there still be class, so I went into Montreal and there was a sense of stillness in a busy city on a business day.
What I also remember the most is the sense of loss, I working at a children’s hospital at the time, I in the Emergency and my Mother in the Operating Room. There were discussions on whether there should be a Code Orange called for staff, whether we would be needed to provide support, care, help or assistance. But there was no one that needed these as the news changed from devastation and injuries to death.
The following days still break my heart – the images of the thousands of posters across NY city of people searching for loved ones, pleading for help, news and slowly losing hope.
I chose not to watch television yesterday, I remembered my own 10 years ago and the little memories that I have in my mind.