On September 11,2001 I was a Army Reservist and a Receiving Manager at Barnes&Noble. Was a beautiful almost spring day. I was living with my then fiance’s family because we wanted to save money for a wedding and getting our apartment together.
She had already left for work and I was preparing to leave myself when her grandmother walked in and asked if I had issues with the cable. She had lost CBS and a few other local channels. The only channel that was going strong with out a weak signal was NBC.
Seems the reason she had lost signal was because CBS had an antenna on the first Trade Center Tower that had struck. She and I were wondering what it could have happened on account at this point we were just watching the tower burn when the second plane hit. I remember telling her that this was an attack. I had to rush to work just in case there would be traffic.
I was driving listening to Howard Stern when he reported about the Pentagon being struck. Here I am wondering do I turn the car around and head back or continue till I get a phone call, I continued on to work because it was what I needed to do.
As I continued to listen to the radio I kept getting phone calls from my family and had other workers asking what I was going to have to do. I had no answer because until I was told if my unit was to do something I had to keep things going.
Took about an hour from when I arrived at work and was mid-deep into my receiving when I got the phone call from my captain from my reserve unit, telling me to go home and get my gear together to await further orders.
I told Dave the manager at the store I worked for that I needed to go. He understood and basically knew there was nothing more to say. I drove extremely fast considering it usually just takes 30 minutes to get back and forth from work. I put on my uniform and waited while watching what was going on in the news.
I continued to keep tabs with my unit and kept getting my captain telling me that she will keep us posted as she receives word.
The waiting game was ridiculous. I went to my mother’s just to assure her things would be ok.
Later that day while still in uniform I had to walk and get something and I would just see people staring at the view. Where my mother lives in NJ it was always clear to see Manhattan and just seeing people from different areas just reaching out for one another. Complete strangers coming together and just being strong for one another.
I can never forget those images specifically and the days that came after. I am grateful that I got to see strength and compassion for one another and that is what I tend to keep in my head in remembrance of all the people we lost on that date.
I do hope you understand that I needed to put this out. It is always something that should never be diminished. America has it’s problem but it’s people are strong and when we do pull together as we did then we prove that we can succeed.