I will never forget how pretty the early morning sky looked as the sun was bursting through the edge of the Earth. It was the perfect wake-up call for a beautifully weathered day. All was calm. I was getting my son, David, dressed and ready to go to day care. I was getting myself ready to go to class. I was a full-time student taking courses at Stark State College of Technology in Canton, Ohio. Our day went on as normal, or so it seemed.
I had dropped my son of at daycare at the Canton YWCA and was heading to school using the 77 interstate to the Belden Village exit to go to my school. I had the radio on playing my favorite station, WKDD, and it was briefly interrupted with an announcement that one of planes had been hijacked and had definitely hit the first tower. I immediately was saying, “Did I hear that right?” The sky still looked beautiful over my “part of the world”. The sun was still shining.
I proceeded to my first class. During the time of the first announcement on the radio and my first class was over, all four planes had been hijacked and crashed, the World Trade Center was no more, and the President of the United States had declared a state of emergency and ALL classes were cancelled and we were ALL sent home. When the terrible devastating news actually sunk in I started to panic and realized, “Oh My God”, I have family working over there.
My first instinct was to pick up my son, David, and then call my Mom and Dad. I also picked up the phone and called my aunt because her daughter (my cousin) Jill Lombardi was working 12 blocks away at the times the towers were hit and collapsed. I was in tears and in shocking disbelief . I was relieved to learn and hear that all of my personal and closest family and friends were alive and well.
However, it took this tragedy and this day for me to have the strongest and best Wake-Up Call ever. The terrorist activities that took place on September 11, 2001, left me having nightmares for weeks and I kept my son by my side every waking moment of the following days. My heart just sank for all of my fellow Americans who were involved and had lost loved ones that day. I valued and cherished my family and friends much more than I had before this day, 13 years ago.