Since we're coming up on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I thought it fitting to start a thread so folks could either reflect, tell us where you were when you heard about the attacks, share memories - what sticks with you, what left the deepest impact, etc, etc, etc. Please, keep it non-political.
I got a call from my ex, John, who said he had heard from Amy, who was at college on Staten Island. She was having trouble getting through to me, so she asked him to let me know she was okay. Later when we spoke, her story was chilling: her roomate's mother called and told her to turn on the tv. When they did and saw what was happening, they ran outside to the walkway, because their school overlooked the southern tip of Manhattan. That's when she and dozens of students watched the second plane hit the tower. By the time she called me, she said the smoke was so thick outside it looked like nighttime.
Less than a week later, I had to drive to Staten Island to bring Amy some furniture. Because of the travel restrictions at the time, I had to cross the George Washington Bridge into Jersey, travel parallel to NYC south along the Hudson, all the while watching the smoky skyline of NYC I had seen on tv, and finally cross the Goethals Bridge into Staten Island. On the positive side, I think every car had an American flag waving from a window, and we honked and waved to each other as we drove along. Seeing that skyline and smelling that smoke remains with me to this day, but so does seeing so many flags proudly being waved by so many proud people.
I did come back in for the memorial service at Yankee Stadium with so many US leaders and performers. (Rudy Giuliani, Pres and Mrs Clinton, Oprah, Lee Greenwood, Bette Midler, etc)
The image that sticks with me is standing up singing "We Shall Overcome" with the Harlem Boys' Choir, and when they got to the verse, "We'll walk hand in hand", as if on cue everyone in the stadium - thousands of strangers - joined hands and held them high. So moving.
Finally, I was going into the city and Amy called and told me to make sure to get off the subway and climb up a certain stairway, and when I came up, everywhere I looked, on every surface, were Missing Person flyers. That is one image that still brings me to tears.