This is a food blog. But every so often there is something so important it finds it way into these pages. This is one of those things.
It was 5 years ago today, and it still seems like just yesterday. It was everywhere on television, radio, newspapers and internet that day, and again today. You can’t ignore it. You cannot miss it. It’s reality. It is our reality. Five years ago today, terrorists hijacked four planes, crashing one into the Pentagon, two into the World Trade Centers and one in Pennsylvania, thanks to some very brave people.
It was 5 years ago today that the world came to a screeching halt around us.
Where were you when it happened? Where were you when you heard?
I was on a train, running very late for work. It was my last week working for a New York directory publisher and I had intended on heading down to the World Trade Center that morning to grab breakfast and eat on the plaza. But I had missed my alarm, then my train and was desperately late. I called my boss, but had the worst time getting through. Finally I reached her and told her I would be late. She said not to come. At the time, I thought she was angry at my lateness.
The MTA conductor told us there had been an accident, a plane had hit the World Trade Center. They didn’t know many details. It was only later through spurts of cell conversations that the other passengers and I discovered that it wasn’t one but two planes and we, as a country were under attack. It wasn’t a single engine Cessna. They were full sized airline planes, filled with innocent people and they smashed into buildings filled with innocent people. Do you see a theme here?
I made it into the city that morning, albeit for just a few moments. I left the train for seconds before deciding to head home and reentering. Shortly after, I stood with the conductor and other passengers in the last car of the train as it pulled out of the tunnel into daylight. We watched the plume of smoke rise up into the air, clouding the skyline we all loved yet took for granted. It grew smaller and smaller till it disappeared from the horizon.
Tears still spring to my eyes when I see the images and hear the sad stories of child who will never know their moms and dads. Five years later, I am still crying for all the souls lost that day.
But I made a decision that Sept. 11 will not be a stigma for me or for my family. We will not let the world stand still every year because of this. I think I said it best in a letter to the editor that was published in the New York Times in August 2004:
I stand by those words.