Sunday, September 11, 2011

My 9/11 story

I was just finishing up my internship in the analytic section of the headquarters of Victoria's Secret on 9/11. I didn't have a TV or radio in my cubicle and first heard about the news when my boss' wife called him after the first plane hit the World Trade Center. He turned on the radio, but I could only hear bits and pieces. I did remember feeling barraged when I heard about the 2nd plane hitting the towers, and then the Pentagon, and then the crash in Pennsylvania. I remember the fear that comes with uncertainty of not knowing what will happen next and the rumors that were spread that day of more attacks.

I couldn't get onto any of the news websites to learn anything, although I eventually was able to get onto the BBC website. Eventually we crowded into the break room to watch TV. The images were unimaginable. I remember the images of people running and then walking miles to get home. It was strange to see the bridge roads filled with people rather than cars. I remember the heroism of so many 1st responders and so many others.

Many of the buyers at VS headquarters knew the people who worked in the VS store in the shopping concourse under the World Trade Center and were very worried about them. Since that was my last week, I never did learn if any of them died. One woman at work whom I didn't know found out her mother was on one of the planes used in the terrorist attacks and she was devastated. That is the closest I came to knowing someone who lost someone on 9/11.

The next week I started my final semester of grad school and started interviewing for a job. My first interview was in Boston at the end of September. I remember receiving the plane tickets in the mail with a note saying they hoped I could come since at that point Logan Airport was still closed indefinitely. It did open in time for my interview and I'm glad I had to start flying so soon after 9/11. I didn't have a choice if I wanted a job, so it made me face something that was difficult. I was on my way back to the airport in DC after an interview when news broke about anthrax in Daschle's office. I had one more trip to Boston and ended up taking the 3rd job that I was offered.

The news coverage today and images of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center still affects me today as much as it did 10 years ago. But I have more hope now and there is less uncertainty than there was on 9/11/2001.

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