Just Another Day

Driving to work this morning, I couldn’t help but notice the bright sun shining down upon the beautiful Chicago skyline as I sped down Lake Shore Drive.  The sky was blue and the temperature was that of a mild September morning.  I looked at my car clock, 8:46 am.  Today was just another day.

Eight years ago, it was just another day.  The sun was shining brightly down upon Chicago in a clear blue and mild September morning.  I was sitting in my physics honors class in high school, listening to my teacher talk about force.  It was just another day.

Turning along the Belmont curve, I could see the breathtaking skyline view of Chicago for the first time this morning.  I could help but imagine what if the Sears Tower or the John Hancock was missing.

The rector came on the PA and told the school that there has been reports of a plane crashing into one of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City.  I was very confused about the announcement.  There has been other disasters during my previous 3 years in school, why tell us about this one?  Besides, what’s so dramatic about having a small Cessna plane flying into a building?  It happens.

I blinked and for a moment I thought I saw smoking coming from one of the buildings downtown.   Blood drained from my face, my heart stopped and a rush of fear and adrenaline filled my body.

No more than 10 minutes later, the rector once again spoke over the PA.  “A second plane have crashed into the World Trade Center Towers.”  I was very confused about the news that I was hearing.  Before I could even process anything, the rector began saying the “Our Father” over the PA in prayers for the victims.

I blinked again.  Nothing.  Nothing was happening.  I was just seeing things.

The physics teacher stopped class and turned on the TV.  The first thing we saw was a large commercial jet flying straight into World Trade Center South Tower.  A large ball of fire protruded from the building as the impact of the explosion echoed in the building and in our minds.  Was I seeing things?

I paused and thought to myself.  Has it been that long since it happened?

Watching the smoke billow from both World Trade Center Towers, the news broadcaster announced that a third plane has just crashed into the Pentagon.   It was only moments ago, though it felt like eternity, that I just witness the plane crash into the Towers.  How much time has passed?  What is happening here?

Chills filled my body.  I paused to imagine the chaos and lost minds of those who where in New York that day.  I remember hearing someone saying, “Did that really just happened?”

The bell rang and we moved into our next class, Calculus AP.  The TV was already on when we walked in.  We had no expression on our faces for we were in shock.  And then the first tower collapsed right in front of our eyes.   Did that really just happened?

Getting off LSD on to Michigan Ave, the tall buildings and shadows swallowed me.

Soon after, the last World Trade Center Tower collapsed.  A plume of dust and smoke rushed down the streets of lower Manhattan, swallowing up everything its way.

Pulling up to the building, I couldn’t help but swallow.  8 years ago, I was in the exact same building when everything happened.  My pocket buzzed.  A tweet from @chrissyisawesom: “9/11 still messes me up a little bit.

Today was 9/11.  I could not believe people could do such a thing.  My faith in humanity turned sour.  It messed me up.

Eight years later, on this 9/11 it feels like it’s just another day.

Today was suppose to be just another day.

It’s not.

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7 thoughts on “Just Another Day

  1. Pingback: Just Another Day goodcity

  2. This was a really good post. Eight years later it is hard to remember and reflect on the event because it seems so long ago. 9/11 however, affected so many Americans and continues to affect them. It really did start out as just another day…

  3. Amen. I didn’t even notice it was 9/11 until i had to write a memo for work and date it.

    From time to time, I will stumble upon the old footage on youtube of the planes crashing into the buildings, the guy making a phone call to 911 and the tower collapsing while he’s on the phone, the subsequent news coverage of family members looking for their lost ones.

    it always messes me up a little bit. i will never understand why a human being would inflict so much pain on their fellow man.

  4. Great post. Great writing. The fact that we live on like it is just another day and don’t stop as a memorial says something about our country – that we will continue to live as if it were just another day, but we will always remember at the same time.

  5. Great post, indeed. 9/11 always messed me up (I found out about it in the Newman Caf from Andrew Mondi and watched the whole thing in the second floor TV lounge with Valerie), but now that I live a couple blocks from the WTC, it’s surreal. I received notices for weeks about street closures and ceremonies. I work with and am friends with people who were in the towers and got out alive. Many of their friends and co-workers did not. I actually couldn’t get home on 9/11 this year because the lot I needed to park my car in was shut down – it was being used for a ceremony at a 9/11 memorial in Staten Island. One of the only big differences I noticed when I moved to NYC was that 9/11 is part of your daily life here. The city is still mourning. But it is also recovering, and I almost feel a sense of pride saying “screw you, terrorists, this is still the best place on earth”.

  6. Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2009 « .:: phampants ::.

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