Far Away but Close to Home…

Date Submitted: 06/27/2002
Author Info: Gina (Walnut Creek, CA - USA) 
Occupation: Other
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: Yes

I was driving to work. I remember turning the radio on and hearing them talking about the leveling of the Twin Towers, I dismissed it though as a morning show prank. I mean who could ever fathom such an event. I was born, raised and lived most of my adult life in New York City. I guess in retrospect I think how could I have imagined it to be a prank…why would a Bay Area radio station be joking about the Twin Towers in NY. I’ve been in the Bay Area for the past 3 years.

It wasn’t until I arrived at work and was informed by a fellow co-worker that this in fact happened that I realized that the unfathomable was a reality. I signed onto the internet and watched the video clip. It was at that moment that I knew that everything in life would never be the same. I felt as though no one else out here in California had a clue what had just happened and the enormity of it all. I don’t know if it had to do with the fact that I had worked in that area all my life, but somehow when you grow up in a city like NY you just know what buildings like that represent to your country. It’s our spirit, it’s our boisterous pride, it’s about more than a building. When I saw the video clip I broke down immediately it was like I just knew instantly without having even been there how horrible it must’ve all been.

Mostly I thought about how if I was still back in New York I would’ve been right downtown in that area. I thought about the irony of life, when you hear about people that weren’t supposed to be scheduled for those flights but ended up on them and vice versa. I mean who would’ve thought I’d ever end up living in the Bay Area, me a hardcore NYer, who knows why some of us are still here and some of us aren’t. Thoughts like this just run through your head when you think about all the lives lost. It makes you realize the importance of living everyday to the fullest and not taking any day that you’re on this earth for granted because God obviously has a plan for you that is greater than all of this or else you wouldn’t still be here.

I had planned to move back to NY after I finished school here, but the truth is is that I don’t know if I can go back right now. I went back the Thanksgiving after 9/11 and I went to ground zero. I felt like all of downtown was paralized and I couldn’t stand to see tourists coming to our city to view the wreckage and destruction of it instead of the enormity and beauty of it. Most of all I couldn’t stand to think about all the lost lives of all those innocent people.

I feel like every couple of months I’m back thinking about it most of the time I just try to pretend like it didn’t happen but the thing is that I know it did and I don’t want to forget that it did. Guess that’s why I’m here writing my story…cause I’ll never forget it or the impact it’s had on me not only as a NYer, or an American but on a me as a person. Just the other day I spoke with an old friend that I hadn’t spoken with in a few years. I remembered that his dad was a fireman and his brother. I asked him if they were ok. He told me they were but that he had lost someone close to him…his college roommate, Manny. He was in the Twin Towers when then went down. Then he said, “remember him he was there the night we met.”


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