Here is what I remember:
I was a senior in college at NYU (New York University) and living at home in Brooklyn. The evening of 9/10/01, I stayed over at my friend Brian’s dorm. We had the same political science class in the morning.
I was asleep. It was morning. I heard a loud “BOOM!”
That sounded like a plane crash I thought to myself, but I went back to sleep and put it out of my mind.
Shortly thereafter, Brian and I got up and headed to class. When we got outside the dorm, Rubin Hall, which was located on 10th street and 5th Avenue, there was a crowd of people standing completely still looking in the direction of downtown Manhattan. We approached the crowd to see what they were looking at.
One of the Twin Towers was on fire. We stood there transfixed. We didn’t know what to do. So we went to class. To this day, I can’t believe that we went to class.
Our class was, ironically, a political science course that addressed terrorism. I can’t remember it’s exact name, but I know it had the word “War” in the title of the course–“War and Morality” maybe? The whole time we were sitting there in class, all I could think about was the burning Twin Tower, and how I wanted to leave class, get to a TV, and watch the news. I needed to know what was going on.
When we got out of class, we looked downtown and both towers were completely gone. They were replaced by smoke and flames.
We went back to the dorm. Everyone was on their cell phones, trying to call their friends and family, but there was no service. I kept trying to call my dad (who, at the time, worked downtown near South Ferry) to see if he was alright. I couldn’t get through. I was so scared.
I prayed that he was okay.
I finally got my dad on the phone. He was said he was afraid to leave his office. He was going to stay put. He heard that no trains were running, so he’d have to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to get home. I told him I would stay in Manhattan at the dorm for at least that night. He thought that was a good idea.
We watched the news until we couldn’t watch it anymore. I thought New York was invincible. How could this happen? I felt unsafe, vulnerable, scared.
I remember sitting in Weinstein Dining Hall. All the faces of the once carefree college kids were solemn.
We walked to Union Square. One of the movie theaters was letting people see movies for free, ostenisbly to lift their spirits. We saw “Hedwig and The Angry Inch.”
I left movies feeling distracted and empty.
I was further uptown, but the people who worked in the Twin Towers had a far scarier story to tell.
To all those affected by 9/11 my thoughts and prayers are with you today.
Now, I invite you to share your story. What do you remember from 9/11/01?