I work for a brokerage firm, and the morning of September 11th was really just another day for me. I got to my office and went about my usual routine of checking voice mails, etc. I tried to get into our computer system, the program that shows what all the stocks are trading at. I couldn’t get into the program, and I was getting irritated because the stock market was going to be opening soon.
A coworker came over and said that a plane had hit the WTC. I thought it was probably a little plane like a Cessna, and the pilot had some kind of mechanical difficulty. I tried to get into the website for CNN, but I couldn’t get into that either. I figured our company was having computer problems, and since I couldn’t get any work done I decided to go find out what was wrong. Our firm has a big tv in the lobby that plays CNN all day long. When I walked past the tv I saw the first tower on fire, and I thought “that’s a lot of damage for a Cessna.” So I stopped to watch, and just seconds after I got there the second plane came from out of nowhere and sit the other tower. A crowd started gathering in front of our tv. A reporter came on and said there were two more jet planes unaccounted for. It was a terrifying thought – where are they? Then a reporter broke in and said the Pentagon was on fire. Then we heard that the fourth plane had crashed in PA.
There was now a large crowd in our lobby, and everyone – even grown men – were in shock and crying. I had an incredible sense of terror that I have never known. Someone, somewhere had declared war on my country. How could this happen? How could the PENTAGON have been hit? For the time in my life I did not feel safe as an American. I truly went into shock for a few days. Everyone kept saying we should get back to normal. But “normal” doesn’t exist anymore. It never will.