I thought something was on my face or something.
Only to find out that a plane just rammed into one of the Twin Towers.
This never happened to the United States. Then, you always heard of tragedies happening everywhere else, but not in the US of A!
Minutes later, we found out that another plane flew into the other Tower.
Are you kidding me?!
Later that day, we find out about the attacks on the Pentagon and the plane that the passengers took over from the hijackers.
At 11 years old, it’s hard to grasp what just happened. At that time, I had only lost one close relative – my great grandmother, Momo. I didn’t really know what death meant. I mean, I knew they weren’t coming back but to actually grasp that concept – you don’t really understand especially not the magnitude of these events.
I knew people were dying, but I didn’t know anyone who died. So it didn’t matter to me. Oh to be young and naïve.
My mom’s eldest sister, my Aunt Alpha works at a college in Brooklyn. The college is very close to the Brooklyn Bridge, which is a few blocks of the World Trade Center.
When the attacks happened, she said a few of her students were daydreaming and saw the hijacked planes crash into the Towers.
Could you imagine that? Looking out into the busy streets of Brooklyn and you see a plane crash into a building. Then complete chaos erupts.
People were everywhere. Just running, with no where to go. With no shoes. No purses. People were just starting to carry their cellphones everywhere.
15 years later with wars against ISIS and American troops STILL in Iraq and Afghanistan even after the deaths of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, I understand.
I understand the deaths, the lives affected, the cowardly actions of former President Bush rushing into war, the unity. I get it.
This was probably one of the first “where were you” moments of my lifetime that I can remember.
Years later on my first trip to New York, I was able to visit St. Paul’s Church which was a place of refuge for many.
Even at 13 years old, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and to that church was a humbling experience. They were having Mass when we visited but you were still able to see the pictures of black people helping white people, the young helping the seasoned.
Everyone was equal, on that day.
Take look at these pictures from the tragic day that most of us can remember like yesterday.