It seems like just yesterday that we experienced tragedy, yet it’s actually been 15 years. For those of you who are new to my blog and are new subscribers, New Jersey was my home since I was 5 years old every time my mother and I would come to visit from Brazil. Every four years we’d come up to visit my grandfather and visit relatives. Sometimes, we’d stay longer from a few months to a year. During these times, we’d go visit NYC since we lived less than 2 hours away, so thus began my relationship with New York City. I’ve never had a bad memory that occurred in NYC. Eventually, when I finally moved to NJ to stay after High School in Brazil, I would visit NYC many more times as a young adult would-exploring what was waiting for us there. I had dreams of moving there one day and even knew what kind of home I wanted. I had everything all planned out. I loved walking around the city and had met many interesting folks there; a place with so many things to see and experience it would take a lifetime to complete them all.
One particular day, we had the idea of going up one of the Twin Towers to visit. As you may know, I am terrified of heights yet I thought it would be something I’d never forget. Once inside the building, we took a long ride up in the elevator to the very top. I felt slightly dizzy as I walked out of the elevator and saw how high we were. The view from the top floor up in the Twin Towers were amazing. I walked closer to the glass wall and looked down. The taxis were so small, like bugs, and I felt like the tower was even swaying a bit, but perhaps that was just me. I thought how beautiful it was from up there and it seemed so peaceful. Very quiet. I honestly remembered even then this was something I’ll never forget. The feeling of being so high in a building I saw so many times coming into NYC from NJ. Sitting in the car as a child, I’d wait looking out the window to get the first glimpse of the two Twin Towers. Once I saw them, I’d get so excited. Now I was finally up in one of them and I was left speechless.
On September 11th I happened to have the tv on watching a morning show when they suddenly cut to breaking news. Reports were being said that a “small airplane” had flown into a tower. I saw the video and thought it was odd. I remember everything of that day. What I was wearing, where I was standing and the kind of day it was outside. How could a plane just crash into one of the towers? I was glued to the tv and was watching it as my heart started to race. I had no idea how worse it was going to get that day. I watched as the second plane hit the tower with my hands over my mouth in disbelief when it showed on tv. Sadly, the copilot of the second airplane was someone I knew; he was my childhood friend’s cousin. My stomach dropped. All those people on that plane (and the plane before that). As the day wore on, there was so much chaos and I felt like I was living a nightmare. So much sadness and grief that day.
I still get emotional when I watch documentaries about 9/11. It’s tough. My heart goes out to every single family that lost someone that day. The story of the heroes on the third plane I will always remember their story as well. As anyone who has experienced loss from a tragic event, you learn to cope. The pain remains, yet you do your best to keep your loved ones memory alive.
15 years and yet it feels like yesterday.
We will never forget.
Do you remember where you were or doing that day?