This article was going to be titled, “9/11 – It’s Time to Move On.”
But after further consideration, commonsense kicked in and we decided that because 9/11 is at once both a collective and a personal experience – we were all affected by the attack but at the same time some of us were more impacted than others – it would better serve the readers to publish a piece that encourages participation and the sharing of our varied experiences.
After all, who can rightfully tell the family members of deceased FDNY firefighters that it’s time to move on? Who can rightfully tell those soldiers who have sacrificed life and limb fighting a two-front war on terror that it’s time to move on?
It goes without saying that those who have lost a loved one in the attack, or in the subsequent war following the attack, as well as those who have served and are now returning home, have earned the right to take as much time with their recovery as they see fit. And as a society who values our freedoms, we owe these brave men and women and their families this courtesy. It’s the very least we can do. They will “move on” when they’re ready. In the meantime, we have to be there to support them.
So with that said, here are some questions to help us reflect on and remember that fateful day. I’ve included my thoughts and answers. Please feel free to post yours.
Where were you when the attacks occurred?
I was still living at my parent’s house in Buffalo, N.Y.
What were you doing (work, school, etc.)?
I was a freshman in college, but I had the day off from class. Since I had that Tuesday off from school, I was sleeping in. Right after the first plane hit, my mother came rushing into my room. She was in a panic, “A plane has just crashed into the World Trade Center, you need to come downstairs and watch this!”
What were your thoughts immediately following the attacks?
I remember watching television when the second plane hit. My mother started sobbing. I felt as if someone had just punched me in the stomach. I was scared. And I remember thinking, “we’re at mother-f*cking war!”
Did you know anyone who was directly affected by the attacks? How did you respond in the following weeks?
I didn’t know anyone who had been in NYC, Arlington, VA, or Pennsylvania, at the time of the attacks. However, several of my friends, who were Buffalo Firefighters, decided to drive out to NYC from Buffalo to lend a hand to FDNY.
I remember attending class the day after the attacks and thinking, “Why am I here right now? This is crazy?” “I should be doing something.” I felt helpless.
I continued attending class, but things were palpable different. Everyone was on edge.
What one image or thought most sticks out in your mind?
For me it was when the second plane hit the south tower: