My September 11th Recollection

My September 11th Recollection

Opening day is finally upon us as the New York Jets will be opening up the 2011 season on National TV where a commemoration will be taking place all around the event to remember and never forget the victims of September 11th.

I will be in attendance, and I KNOW emotions are going to be very high.  I’m going to be jacked for the game, solemn for the ceremony and hopefully ecstatic for a win.

When thinking about 9-11 many people will never forget where they were and what they were doing when the greatest attack on American soil occurred.  I was in Pennsylvania on that day and my recollection goes like this:

It was a beautiful crisp September day in the Poconos at my home and I had taken the day off as I was doing some major renovation to my landscape.  My Father had taken off work as well and we had the contractor working with his tractor in the front yard.  My Father and I were assembling the landscaping stones in the front planter and were receiving the top soil from the bobcat.

My House On September 11, 2001

We decided to get an early jump on the long day ahead of us so we had been out there since the sun rose that morning.  All was going as planned when the contractor who was in his cab motioned me over to the tractor.  He cut the engine and I could hear he had a radio playing.  He blurted out to me, did you hear the news?

My first response was yeah, I know, Michael Jordan announced his retirement.  At the time, MJ was on the wizards and he had called it quits either the day of or the night before (I really can’t remember).  He came back and said “No, a Plane hit the World Trade Center”.  I motioned to my Father and he joined the conversation and we all assumed it had been either a small single engine plane or something to that affect.  We spoke for a couple more minutes and back to work we went.

The engine cut a second time and he jumped off the cap this time and said, no it was a Jet liner!  The three of us ran into my house (mud and all) and turned on the television.  Not minutes after the TV was on, we saw the second plane hit.  We thought we were looking at a replay.  I just remember all of us screaming, and then silence.  (I’m getting goose bumps as I write this as I haven’t really thought about this detail since that day).

We didn’t do an ounce of work after that moment and stayed glued to the television for the rest of the day.  The contractor is from my town and every single time I pass him on the road or bump into him in a store, we give each other a grim look.  I know we remind each other of that day.  We will never forget it.

I also remember that day EVERY TIME I look upon my house.  I see that planter, those stones, and I can’t help but think of putting them together with my Father on that day.

My House September 11, 2011

I can’t help but think that every individual stone in that wall represents a life lost or affected by that dreadful day.

My story continues.  One of my best friends who was in my wedding and I in his worked in the WTC.  After the buildings collapsed, I jumped on my phone to call my friend.  If you remember, it was very difficult to call anyone as all circuits were getting hammered.  I kept trying to no avail.  My thoughts were on him all day and I was starting to worry as I had not heard from him and night fall was upon us.

I looked up his wife’s parents who lived in PA and was able to get in touch with them at 8pm.  They had not heard from him either.  I was really starting to panic.  At 11pm, the phone rang and it was my friend.  His voice was hoarse, the emotions were very high and he had told me that we was exiting the subway right in front of the building when the second plane hit.

He went into great detail of what he saw and I was horrified for him.  I won’t go into detail about his experience as it still haunts me to this day as if I was there witnessing it with him.  I can tell when I talk to him these days, that day still lives in him.  I will never forget that day as there are reminders all around me constantly.  That’s what we should do.  You hear the words “Never Forget”.  We need to make sure that those loved ones who lost their lives 10 years ago to THIS day, will never be forgotten.

RIP.  My Heart goes out to all those affected by this horrible act.

  • nyjallfingday

    R.I.P. to those who lost their lives.

    And off topic for a sec, Eric, you have an absolutely beautiful home.

  • Sandi667

    wow Erik my eyes are so filled with tears I can’t see very well. Your whole story gave me shivers. I’m so glad your friend had not made it to work. I can’t imagine being there in person to see any of what happened that day. I was at work in downtown Toronto on the 29th flr. I thought the same as you when the 2nd plane hit. There were a few of us gathered around a tv and we all yelled when it happened. It was also scary because they kept saying they were going to hit Canada next. I could go on but I won’t. My heart goes out to all affected.

  • Sandi667

    very well written Erik. I also love your house. Good job!