Friday, September 11, 2009
The above picture is one I took at the St. Patrick's day parade in March of 2009. It's at an odd angle as I was trying to take the picture of all the flags, which never really happens. Each year I tend to blog about the same thing, my memories of Sept. 11, 2001 and the days that followed afterwards. This years brings some interesting memories along with it. 10 years ago we all getting ready for my brother's wedding, as he decided that since 9-1-1 was a Saturday, it would be silly and no one would forget their anniversary; 8 years ago in August my family and I were in Ireland. This year we are preparing to celebrate my brother and sister-in-law's 10th anniversary, and this past August my family and I returned from a vacation to Ireland.
I remember 8 years ago flying to Rome in May for a class with Seton Hall and then flying in August for the vacation to Ireland, my gradfather was 90 years old that August, while I was happy to with friends and family, I couldn't stand being on the plane or flying. That was not like me I never had any issues flying or being on a plane. I could never place my finger on why I was so nervous about flying, but I got my answer looking back, somehow, someway I had a feeling deep down that something bad was going to happen.
Sept 11, 2001 went like this:
I was in my last semester at Seton Hall, long story short I was 12 credits short for graduating in May of 2001 like I was supposed to, so I had an added semester of classes, which became me just showing up for classes as I was commuting. So that's how 9-11 begins, I was at home sleeping like most college students would have been, when my mom came in to say " a place hit the twin towers." I thought what dumbass hits a building, assuming it was a little plane, not a jumbo jet. So I took my time getting up and decided to wash my car. What I think really happened was the Holy Spirit took me away from the tv, so I didn't have to see the towers fall, I've watched the replays and it always makes me cringe and cry. I turned on the radio in the car and turned on WPLJ. Scott and Todd, who are the morning DJs, were very somber in their broadcast, normally they are goofballs trying to help the drivers cope with their commutes. I will not forget how somber and solemn they were, it was strange and not normal. While I was washing my car, PLJ allowed ABC to break in and the news that a second plane hit was given. Almost every one in America and probably around the world saw that place hit, I can see the tv coverage in my head as I type this. My neighbor came out shortly afterwards and said, "one of the towers collapsed." That was it, I went inside, watched tv, tried to get on the internet to find my friends, of whom most were at Seton Hall.
Most of my family lived in NY at the time, and my father worked in the Bronx and my brother in Manhattan, both no where near the towers. It would take my dad nearly 4 hours to come home, as the George Washington Bridge was closed, so he had to figure out a way to get home. I don't remember how my brother got home as he usually took the train in. Thoughts ran through our heads as to who worked where and wondering if they were ok. All the family members were fine, and eventually we learned of friends of the family that had near misses that day, and eventually we heard that John and Dennis were among those that had died. More on them later. ;)
I remember finding my "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do" shirt. Again a prompting of the Holy Spirit. My parish had a prayer service that night as we found out one of our parishioners had died in the Towers. I remember my mom and I walked over and I remember sitting in one of the pews, and watching Fr. Kevin go to a few people asking them to read, each said no. Before Fr. Kevin could get over to me, my mom said, "you're next, don't say no." Honestly, being a lector and having read in public quite a few times, I said yes, and I also thought, well at least people will read my shirt. What was done was an evil act, but those men were lead to believe that what they were doing was correct, it is not my place to judge them and yes we are called to forgive. Anyway I read at our service and eventually went home.
The next few days played out in a normal manner of going to school, retreat meetings, and other such things.
Driving to Kearny from SHU, prayer service, John's Mass, Dennis's wake.. all these things are to come, but alas I must get some sleep as I have to work in the morning.