It was a beautiful day. I had just dropped my children off at school and came home to scramble up some eggs and read the paper. At a little before 9 a.m. my husband called from work and told me to turn on the television because a plane had hit the World Trade Center. He had just entered his building across the street and wanted to know what was going on — he was “disappointed that he had missed the commotion”. I was annoyed at this request, as I didn’t want my eggs to get cold. I figured it was a small plane that probably chipped off a side of the building. Never realizing that our world had just turned upside down, I turned on the tv, but didn’t pay attention to it at first. Then I realized that this was big — bigger then when it was bombed in 1993.
I watched and listened in horror, as incident after incident happened. The second plane hit, a plane crashed in Pennsylvania, the Pentagon was hit. It became surreal — when the first tower came down, I remember feeling foolish believing it. I thought they would never come down. By this time, of course, it was impossible to make a phone call. I worried about where my husband was — my brother. By noon, I went to my children’s school and was probably the last of the parents to bring their children home. My husband came home around 12:30. He was almost unrecognizable, as his entire body and clothes were covered in grey powder. His eyes and mouth were these wet spot on his ashy face. He looked stunned. He had seen everything. The buildings coming down, the bodies falling out of the buildings — he said they looked like starfish, twirling round and round. I couldn’t stop crying, thinking of all the people who had died — all the children whose parents weren’t coming home — all the parents whose children were gone.
I remember being surprised that this was national news and that the papers were saying “America” was hit. Maybe because it was so close to home it seemed like a New York City thing. And then I remembered how I was affected by the Oklahoma bombing in 1994, and realized that it was possible to be affected by something even if it’s not in your backyard. The next days were spent scouring the newspapers, finding that so many had died. I knew three people, but some people I knew had known 10, 20 and even more who had perished. It’s been a year now, and I still can’t believe this has happened.