Sunday, September 11, 2011

How the September 11th, 2001 Disaster Affected Me

The September 11th, 2001 Disaster impacted me in an indirect but special way, because New York was a secondary home to me for about eight months from 1994 to 1995. Little did I know just six years later that plane bombings would destroy the most significant structures standing in Manhattan's Ground Zero.

The Morning of 9/11

I remember waking up to a phone call to a man from a prayer group that first told me the news. After that phone conversation, a day that was originally an ordinary day where I just got up and went to work turned into a morning of shock. While at work, my co-workers and me watched broadcasts and updates of the plane bombings, possible Osama Bin Laden whereabouts, and so on.

The Eve of 9/11

Sometime after I frantically went to the gas station out of fear of rising petroleum prices, my downstairs neighbor confided with me. He frantically lamented, "I have relatives who lived [on the East Coast]!"

I decided to show Earl compassion by laminating a "We will Never Forget" newspaper page I found from the Green Bay-Press Gazette (the newspaper of the city in which I was born). I wanted him to have it as a keepsake just in case he hears some sad news.

I also had (eventually) contacted people I lived with in New York. I was relieved to know they were all "okay" especially a man named George who actually worked on Wall St. as a broker.

I wished I had taken photos while I was in New York almost ten years prior to 9/11. That way, I would have something to compare to when I see photos and videos of Downtown Manhattan today ("The City"). I also long to go back to New York and see for myself first hand how different it is at "Ground Zero" now than it used to be.

Still, I do not need photos to remember my memories of living in New York when I did. I still picture myself standing on the highest level allowed to a tourist on one of the Twin Towers that no longer exists.

I also still remember looking over Manhattan from one of the Towers. It was a breathtaking view up there to minute people walking around below, and it was intriguing to see tiny lines with wheels (vehicles). I also distinctly remember the view of the Hudson waterway, and the geometrical land and building shapes.

Every time I see or hear about New York and the September 11th incident-even when watching a fiction movie-I feel a bit melancholy. I actually miss being in New York and wish to go back.

Of course, now hurricane Irene just hit. Go figure. What are the odds? Irene hits the coast almost on the tenth anniversary of September 11th, 2011. Everything happens for reasons I cannot explain, except to say it is destiny.

But still, if I had the chance I would go back to New York just to see how different it is in “The City” than it was when I lived there many years before.

How 9/11 Affected Me (A Wake-up Call)

The fact that the Twin Towers and the Pentagon building and several small buildings were demolished hits me hard. It made me realize what such a comfort bubble I grew up in, being too young for the Vietnam War as well as the two other Major World Wars that occurred before the turn of the century and before 2001.

This is and was one of the most tragic incidences that I recall happening to America since I have been born. Even more lives were lost in it than the Oklahoma City bombing from years before, and the Virginia Tech tragedy years later.

All these catastrophes-especially 9/11 are usually a "wake-up call" for me. These terrible events remind me not to take life for granted. No one is promised even one more day, so we all need to try to live life to the fullest.

Usually an event such as the September 11th, 2001 airplane bombings strike me in another way. This event in particular made me realize that America is not invincible as I used to think. Still, this is only a taste of the violence that people experience in other places of the world, especially the Middle East.

My decision to write the above story was inspired by this call to submissions:

What you see at this link at at the official MSN news site is other people's stories. You can decide what impacts you as you read the stories that touch your heart.

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