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.