Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Ago

What were you doing on September 11, 2001 when you got the news of the attacks?

Here's my story:  During the previous week (on the day before Labor Day), I'd gotten fired from a kitchen job at a restaurant where I'd been working since 1999, by the new owner who had taken over in the spring of 2001.  I was without a job, needless to say, but it would not be for long.  I went to the movies twice that week and began looking for another job.  Then I went to my cousin's wedding the Saturday before the attacks.  And the next day I was glad to not have to be up early on Sunday (since I'd worked on the weekends at 7AM).  The last thing I remember doing the night of September 10, 2001 was watching TV before going to bed that night, as I almost always do. Not having a job, I had no idea was I was going to be doing each day during that week, and would wake up at whatever time I desired.   Then my mom called me the next morning and asked if I heard about an attack on the news. I turned on the TV and there was news of the World Trade Center bombing, an incident thereafter known as 9/11.  Here is a clip of the news on NBC's Today Show:

Trying to watch the news of the attacks was difficult, but there was nothing else on because every station was covering the attack.  Even though I felt I was ignoring something important, I just could not sit around all day trying to keep up, as long as I got the gist of the story. Besides, I knew that with an incident of this magnitude there would be more news to come in the days that followed.

So then I decided it was time to get out the house for a while, and took a drive around town.  Along the way, I saw some tables set up in front of an empty building that had once housed a local drug and variety store.  I saw the the Dollar Tree was opening in my town and because I was in need of job I decide to apply and was quickly hired.  I had hated the new restaurant owner and was looking for new work, including the Goodwill store that had also come to my town in 2001 (I'd gone to an interview for the Goodwill in August then, but heard nothing back).  The two stores are next door to each other and opened around the same time in September 2001.  So something good came of that day. I could not wait to begin, and my training began the following Monday.  Some stores closed that day because of the attacks. I went to the next town over to go to Walmart as I would sometimes do that if I was bored often on Mondays and Tuesdays, since the restaurant where I was working was closed on those days.  I then drove over the outlet center near Walmart and saw that the stores had closed that day because of the attacks.  Meanwhile, there was still more news of the attacks the rest of that day, as well as in the days that followed.

Forward to 2011.  Earlier this year, I read the book "Homer's Oddyssey," about a blind cat named Homer.  In one chapter, Homer and his owner's other two cats are trapped in her New York City apartment during the attacks as she is away from home when the bombings take place.  While reading this part of the book,  I then remembered that this year will be the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

And of course now everyone seeing memorials of the attacks on TV and in the papers as well as on the Internet.  All this makes me glad to still be alive as well as sad for those who lost loved ones during the attacks.   This the sort of event that most people will always know they were doing the day it occurred.
Do you remember what you were doing?

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