I remember exactly where I was on September 11, 2011. I was sitting on my couch watching “Today” when Matt Lauer mentioned a plane hitting the World Trade Center. As shocking as it was to hear, it was believed that the tragedy was a result of an accident. A short while later footage of the second plane hitting the south tower was shown live on TV. I knew then that something terrible was happening.
I was in college and working in a restaurant at the time. I went to work that day and wondered if anything else could happen. While there, a friend called me to let me know that my father’s office building was being evacuated. It was just a precaution, but I was scared. I lived just blocks from the Watervliet Arsenal. What if a site that produced weapons was next on their list?
I was glued to my television for the next three days. I watched footage from The Pentagon and from Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Mostly though I saw the devastation and desperate pleas from people who lived near Ground Zero. The towers had completely collapsed; debris was everywhere. Dust filled the air as people raced to safety. Memorials were set up along fences and on street corners. And people pleaded with the public to help them find their missing husbands, wives, sisters, and friends.
It has been ten years since those awful days. Security procedures at airports and government buildings have completely changed. The towers have been rebuilt. The Pentagon repaired and a memorial now stands in a small field in Pennsylvania. On May 1, 2011 Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind 9/11 was finally brought to justice. His body was released into the ocean by a brave unit of United States Marines. For some people this brought a sense of closure. But for me, I still have a fear that this could happen again.