I had moved from Washington DC to California the summer before 9/11, and so i had only a few friends out west, and most of my family and friends were still on the east coast.
I remember getting up that morning and showering, and seeing as i got out of the shower that my voicemail light on my phone was blinking. I was so confused as to who would be calling me at 6am. I was my mom, in Virginia telling me to turn on the TV. Literally seconds after I turned on the tv, the second tower was hit, and what I had initially assumed was some radar problem or mechanical issue causing the first crash, was changed to the terror of realizing that this was happening on purpose. I told my roommate and he seemed to think it was weird, but didn’t seem to realize the gravity of the situation.
Being in California I was sure what was appropriate.. should I go to work? I was working in accounts receivable at the time, and it seemed like a weird thought to be calling people about their overdue invoices with everything going on. I got in my car and sat in the slowest traffic i had encountered on my commute listening to radio the whole time. Our office was fairly silent all day as we all listened to the radio and went through the motions of trying to be productive all day. Almost all of my small group of friends were in the military there in San diego, and they were all locked down, so I couldn’t find out what was going on with them, and even thousands of miles away the city seemed to shut down for a few days.
I think that the next week or 2 was a blur of watching news coverage and figuring out what life as an American was going to look like after this. I remember worrying about my friends in Dc and their parents who i knew worked at the pentagon… as far as i know they were all luck to have not been harmed, at least physically. Slowly the city came back to life, and i remember when planes started flying overhead again, how foreign it sounded. In October I took a flight to San Francisco with friends, and I clearly remember how on edge everyone was, but that we felt that it was important to not let fear take over our lives… Although life has found its new normal since then, seeing the coverage still has a traumatic effect and brings you back to the same feelings of that day with a little more sorrow.