I was running late for work that day. The weather was beautiful. The skies were a clear deep blue, virtually cloudless. The air was warm with a hint of impending autumn. It was an almost perfect day. My normal commute usually got me to the World Trade Center at around 8:45 but I missed the 8:00 train to Hoboken. Almost missed the 8:20. I ran for the train, got in, sat down and started reading a book, ignoring the world around me.
Around 8:50 as we arrived in Hoboken, there was a stir on the train. Something about a fire in the World Trade Center. I closed my book and looked toward the city, but the towers had already disappeared behind the train station building. As I left the train, an announcement came over the PA in the station: The PATH trains into the World Trade Center were not running. There were no other details.
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The thought going through my head was, "Damn, now I'm going to be really late."
I wrote this to remember what happened that day without the hype, the drama, and the politics. I wrote it for me, so I didn't have to carry the memories around in my head. Not that I can ever forget, nor do I want to, but I made the decision during the year afterwards to get all my memories down, while they were stll crystal clear.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I wasn't running late. I'm pretty sure I would have been walking out of the World Trade Center at the very same time the first plane hit. I think about how lucky I was. I'm no hero, All I did was witness what happened and feel lost. I never got closer than 3/4 of a mile to the World Trade Center.
I also think about all the people who died. My wish for the world is that we learn to make peace and we learn to live together. The world is a very small place and there's no room for hate. We need to learn from the tragedy of September 11th or we are doomed. Say "I love you" to someone special every day. You may never get a second chance.
FIFTEEN YEARS LATER:
(I removed the rest of the epilogue. It was getting really long. If you want to read it. It's on the previous years' posts.)
Since last year there's been a lot of life happening.
My father passed away in December. He had full military honors at his funeral. The ceremony was exactly as he wanted. He taught us loyalty and devotion. My mother passed away around a month later in January. She taught us how to love. My little dog Josie died in February of a bad reaction to anesthesia during a dental procedure at the Vet's office. It was a shock and a surprise. She taught me how to have fun. I miss them all.
On the positive side, I'm in a new relationship and things are going very well. I'm very optimistic about it and I can't wait to see what happens. I am still living in Oldsmar. I was quoted in an article in the Washington Post. Ballroom dancing is still part of my life and my latest routines included dressing up as the Joker, complete with purple tuxedo and green hair, while Julie wore a Harley Quinn costume. We rocked the house.