I flipped on the radio that morning on the way to work just minutes before Tower 1 went down. I remember sitting in my car driving down the road and thinking it must be a joke. I recall wondering what day it was, trying to think if it was April fool’s day or something else that would explain it. I was on my way to work , it was 9:50am. At 9:59am, it crumbled to dust. The radio station I was listening to had someone with an apartment that faced the towers on a live call. I was driving and I remember the man saying “Oh, Oh God. It’s falling.” He paused for just a few seconds and I could hear the whine of my car in the silence, then he said “It’s gone. The first tower is gone.”
I was young and naive enough to think that it surely must be an awful accident. The plane communications surely had been faulty and they were accidentally guided into the towers unaware. I had no concept that anyone could do this on purpose. America froze that day.
At 10:28am, the second tower fell. The store had the radio tuned to the same station I was listening to in my car, so the caller was still on the line. We all heard him gasp and yell into the phone “Oh! No! NO! The second tower!” He paused again, then into the silence he said softly “The second tower is gone. The Twin Towers have fallen.” Everyone in the store was just glued to the radio.
I remember thinking that this must have been similar to the JFK assassination. As the day unfolded, we learned that the Pentagon had also been hit, people were jumping out of windows, all the firefighters that went in Tower 1 were dead, and some brave passengers over Pennsylvania had saved countless lives in the capitol building by rushing the cockpit in the last hijacked plane.
Sometime at about 6pm that day, I got off of work and go home, where Megan is sitting in front of the TV, where she’s been for the past 10 hours. I look at the TV, where they’re showing pictures on the hijackers. I then asked “Does it look as bad as it sounds over the radio?” She looks at me with tear-streaks on her face and says “Worse. It’s worse.” Just then, they flipped back to shots of plane 2 ramming the second tower. It wasn’t until later that the news found one lucky video of the first hit. Meggie was right. It was worse. I just sat there with her and cried. I don’t even know how long we sat there in tears. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the people in the towers.