I think the day will forever be etched in my memory. I lived in New York when this occurred. I was only in 10th grade. Yet I can recall every frightening moment. I'm sure most people can. We weren't in the city, 100 miles away, but close enough that many people in my school were left crying in the halls because they knew they had family in the Twin Towers.
I too was crying because my cousin was in Manhattan and I didn't know where. As a student body we sat in the auditorium, watching the live TV footage, and we saw the towers collapsing- live- and everyone screamed and gasped. My cousin could be under there. All of those people dying. Seeing people like you and me jumping from the windows of the building. Hearing the sirens and seeing the cloud dust as people ran.
We lost cable and radio that day for nearly a week. We had no access to the outside world aside from a PBS station that was located in Pennsylvania. All of our satellite dishes providing tv and radio were on top of the Twin Towers and when they went down, so did the radio and tv. We were in the no fly zone and had military made themselves known because we had the reservoirs in our area for NYC. There were fears that they, the curious unknowning they, would bomb the reservoirs and therefore drown out the majority of mid-state New York and cause mass havoc in NYC by cutting all drinking water from them.
In the evening... the sun would turn a rusty orange and the moon would be red. All from the dust, dirt, and bits of rubble that were in the air from the fallen buildings. There was a strong southern wind for a few days and we could smell this burnt metal scent in the air.
We were scared, we were frightened, we learned to be closer to our families because god forbid there was always that chance that they might not be there the next day.
It's a horrifying memory that will always be etched out in my mind. I'll always remember how I screamed and ducked after hearing a fighter plane fly over our house, shaking the dishes in our cabinets and rumbling the floor, after a week of having not a single plane fly over. I remember when we got tv back and the news casters I always turned to for information were crying on the air. I remember my friends stories. I remember the cries of fellow classmates as bad news came in. I remember calling my mother and crying into the phone, "Is Liana alive?" It was the only way I could form my desperation. She didn't even know the attacks had happened. During the course of it all she was painting a room.
I'm lucky and thankful. No one in my family nor anyone I know directly were injured or killed in the attacks. But I know of many people who did lose loved ones. And then there are the scores of people I do not know who suffered, but their pain is still real and something I wish they never had to experience.
Eight years have passed and I still feel that my skyline is missing a vital part to it's picture. The Twin Towers, the people lost, the people lost in DC and Pennsylvania, will never be forgotten. At least not by me.