I just opened my eyes after the minute of silence to remember everyone that was affected that day. I remember almost everything about that day……Surreal seems a poor word choice but I guess it’s the best.
I was headed to my Atlanta office that morning, the drive that took about 1:15 hours. I had a number of trades that I had requested my assistant, LeA, to place at the market open. I left my home at 9:00am. On my drive to Atlanta LeA called and said the market open was delayed due to a plane hitting one of the World Trade Towers. Odd, but nothing serious, or so we thought at 9:30. A little while later LeA called me back and said a second plane had hit the other World Trade Tower. Within about 10 or 15 minutes of her call I passed by Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport. There is a sign over I85 that DOT posts traffic conditions. The sign read something to the effect, NATIONAL EMERGENCY HAS BEEN DECLARED BY THE PRESIDENT….. It was now 10:00 or so. LeA called me again and told me that our offices, I worked for Smith Barney then, were being evacuated and I couldn’t come to the office even if I wanted to.
I had a meeting after lunch with my marriage counselor, I was in the middle of a very difficult divorce, and really had no place to hang for a couple of hours. I ended up at a restaurant at Lenox Square Mall in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. As I drove in the mall to park there were no cars at 11:00am, very odd. (I didn’t realize it at the time but due to the national emergency all public spaces, malls being one, had been shut down for the most part). There was one restaurant that was open; no one was there but me. I ended up sitting at the bar eating lunch and watching TV as the live and recorded footage was played over and over again….. The enormity of what I was watching starting to seep into my veins.
Around 1:00pm I left headed for my marriage counseling “therapy” session. Whatever I was supposed to have accomplished that day, letting my anger go, forgiving, allowing grace into my heart, learning new ways to express myself seemed trivial compared to those that were caught, by fate, in and around the World Trade Towers that day.
The rest of the day settled into a fog as more and more footage of the devastation that was the lower Westside of NYC. I lived in Greenwich Village when I was attending NYU for graduate school so I recognized a number of the shots of the streets in and around the World Trade Towers.
I still feel like it was yesterday, in some ways, and not 13 years ago. The sadness still wells up inside me for those that were there that day. My prayers go out to all that were affected by the tragedy and it is true…. We Will Never Forget….