Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Remembrance of Sept 11th.

I got up that morning excited as I was going to be leaving my position as a Check Processor and begin a new one as a Computer Operations Specialist in the Pennsylvania bank I worked for. I put on the television to watch the news and then the Today show as was my usual routine, but it wasn't usual that morning. There was a news report being broadcasted about a severe fire in the upper stories of one of the Twin Towers. Smoke was billowing out of the building and the reporter just kept saying that they didn't have much information to go on. While I watched, well all you could do is watch it happen, an airplane flew into the other Tower and there was a massive explosion. Dumbfounded, stunned, shocked, I'm not really sure how I felt about it; then I thought, oh, it must be a stunt of some sort, something they're doing for a movie.

It wasn't....

As the morning unfolded, I just watched the chaos, the smoke, the flames erupting from the Towers...and then the falling of one Tower and then the next. Heard about the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, but it didn't really register...the Towers were gone and that is really all that mattered.

My new boss called to find out if any family and friends I had in New York were ok, and they were; also told him I would be in for work. Why not? I'm a stoic New Yorker and nothing stops electrical outages, no winter storms, no union strikes and especially no terrorist action. This was just another day in the life...

First I had to work my normal day shift in the old department. There was another ex-New Yorker there and we hugged and said, "It will all be alright." Her son worked at the Twin Towers, but he felt sick that day and didn't go in; lucky for him as he worked in the upper floors and probably would have been killed that day. One of our coworkers, who must have been severely mentally deficient remarked, "What is the big deal? It was just a couple of buildings that came down." Luckily for her, our manager and supervisor were there when she said it, for I truly believe that I and the other woman might have committed murder that day.

During the evening, while learning my job, my new coworkers and I watched CNN during down times. Still couldn't get my head around it all; that took several days as the story of it all unfolded.

Oh, I don't know, maybe it was weeks, probably months, but there was a television broadcast for the heroes of New York...police, firefighters, EMTs, etc. Billy Joel sang his two of his most famous songs, "New York State of Mind" and "Seen the Lights go out on Broadway", and he was the best of all the singers there, in my opinion. But the very best of the entire broadcast was one firefighter who summed it all up, and I can't quote him verbatim, but it was sort of like, "You don't mess with the United States of America, and you most especially don't F**K with New York." He was from Brooklyn, my birthplace and yeah, we got 'tude.

Like Pearl Harbor, this will be a day that goes down in infamy, and we, not just as New Yorkers, but as citizens of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America, will remember our fallen this day for they are all heroes.

Mary Cokenour
Proud New Yorker living in Utah.

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