I was sound asleep that morning. It was the last day of summer vacation, just before Fall Quarter was to begin for my senior year of college. It was my last day to sleep, and my roommates knew how much I enjoyed to sleep, so they watched everything unfold on TV as I was out cold. After the second tower fell, one of my roommates burst in my room, forcing me awake. I remember being so angry that my last opportunity to sleep well into the afternoon had been disrupted. That anger quickly turned into confusion as he tried to explain what had happened. He then dragged me into the living room where I could see for myself. I was in utter disbelief, obviously I was still asleep and this was just a nightmare. But to my dismay, I was indeed awake, a truly sobering thought. As most 21 year old college guys do in uncomfortable and uneasy situations, we made inappropriate remarks… mostly comical, to try to hide our own terror and to make sense of it all. It was a long, somber day, especially since one of our friends had a dear friend who worked in one of the towers and he could not get a hold of her. He finally did later that day, and she had fortunately been very late for work that day and her cab pulled up to the tower just as the first plane hit, and they made a speedy exit. Later in the afternoon, we suddenly had our apartment fiercely shake with two explosions, nearly shattering out windows. We ran outside to see two plumes of white smoke streaking in the sky. We thought we were under attack ourselves. Soon, however, we noticed a plane flying exceptionally high, and as it turns out, these were the sonic booms of escort jets meeting Air Force One high above. Extremely uneasy, my roommates, select friends, and I drove 1.5 hours away to one of my roommates parents for some sense of sanity.
This changed my life in many ways. I had the realization that my initial plan was to go to college in NYC and work as a paramedic. Had I done this, I very well may have been there that day. It did act as an impetus to fulfill my desire to be a paramedic, and eventually on the medical school.
I went to medical school in NYC and took many trips to Ground Zero. It kept me grounded and grateful. I am now an Emergency Medicine physician. I owe a great deal of what I am today to what happened to us then.
I will never forget.