While in NYC for my father’s memorial service (check out my post about losing my dad here), my husband and brother were both interested in visiting the WTC site (check out the official site here). My brother moved away from NYC several years ago, and my husband did not get to see it the one other time he visited the city. Well, that’s not actually true! He wanted to go, but I flat-out refused.
On this occasion however, I decided to put my big girl panties on, and stop avoiding this key part of my hometown. For anyone reading this that might just assume I’m a punk, the fact of the matter is, I survived the 9/11/ attack. While we all know it was nearly 16 years ago, at times the emotion of being near ground zero becomes too much for me. September 11, 2001 took place during the beginning of my sophomore year of college at Pace University. One of the main things I remember about that day is how beautifully blue the sky was, and how it was a perfect Indian summer day as I walked towards the subway. However, as the 5 train pulled into the Bowling Green stop, I remember a bike messenger coming onto the train, and telling us all that the Twin Towers were on fire.
Being a native New Yorker who had seen many a hysterical person in my life, I assumed the messenger was high or just looking for attention. He wasn’t drunk, high or your ordinary city lunatic, and jumping off the train at the Brooklyn Bridge station changed my life forever.
I won’t go any further into the events of that day here. It would be way too long and emotional for this blog. Although, my visit to the 9/11 site was brief (I honestly couldn’t stay there too long), it did help me to finally see how beautiful the monument is. I knew what the site was supposed to look like because of the drawings and pictures I had seen of it, but standing in front of the memorial fountain really made me feel a sense of gratitude. The sadness that I usually feel when I think about that day or it’s the anniversary wasn’t there. I am so thankful that I went, and it actually also made me feel closer to my dad, who was the first family member I saw upon returning home after the attack. I think he would’ve liked to know I went, even if only for five minutes.