I grew up in Long Island, New York and moved when I was 22. I was 19 when the Twin Towers came down. I lived right by the Long Island Railroad where so many Long Islanders load up daily to head into to the city to work. I had no clue as I passed the railroad that day to head to my college campus that in a few hours life would change forever, and some of those people on the LIRR would never return home.
Here are 8 things I remember about living in NY during September 11th.
1. It was a really beautiful sunny day in Long Island, NY .
2. I was sitting in my car at SUNY Farmingdale waiting for my next class to begin when campus police came banging on my window telling me that something bad happened and I needed to either go to my dorms or evacuate the campus NOW and go straight home.
3. Driving to my grandmother’s house because my mother told me to go there and my grand mother saying she thought it was a movie when she walked into the room and saw the first tower go down on TV.
4. The solemn sound of Peter Jennings voice narrating what’s happening.
5. The look on the local news anchors faces and the long pause as the plane hit the tower. Normally anchors are so poised and controlled. I remember a weird comfort in their human-ness. It meant what we were seeing was real, and we didn’t have the media at that second trying to minimize the sheer terror we were seeing.
6. Coming home from classes everyday in the evening and seeing the funerals happening at Pinelawn Cemetery of NYPD and Firefighters and Long Island residents who worked in NY and had perished in 9/11.
7. The eerie emptiness on the roads for the next few days after the attacks.
8. Believing that we would have thousands of rescues only to remember hearing the anchor on Fox 5 saying this had become about recovery.
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