That morning I was awoken by my wife at the time, who was at work, to tell me to turn on the TV because a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I wasn't due into work until around 2 that afternoon. so I watched as I had my morning coffee.
As I watched and listened to the confusion of what was going on, I watched the 2nd plane hit the tower live. That's when the coverage turned from a possible accident to something darker. I remember standing in front of my TV in complete shock and awe as the day unfolded, and the towers fell.
Once I was at work all we could do was stare at the TV as events continued. I remember not sleeping that night, and just laying on the couch flipping through the news channels. Two or three days later, my boss called me asking for volunteers to head to NYC, to help hand out phones to emergency workers and to anyone else that we saw.
The phones had a free month of service on them, so anyone who needed to could stay in contact with each other. Needless to say, I went with a few other coworkers at the behest of my ole lady.
We were set up in a warehouse on W 37th St near the Javits Center. We got there around noon, and were programming phones. We loaded them into vans to send down the road to Ground Zero. The whole team worked until around midnight while waiting for the last van to come back so we could all follow each other to our hotel in NJ.
A coworker and I went around the block to grab a drink, and they all left us. I'll never forget how quiet it was there, and the smell. I can still smell that smell whenever I talk about it.
Fast forward to two years ago. I had just got my current job, and had to fly out to training in Texas on Sept 11th. I was already a little freaked out just flying on this day. I was flying out of Logan with another new hires.
As we sat at the gate waiting for our flight, I was looking out the windows at all the other planes and gates when I realized our gate was the only one with a big American flag on it. It was then I realized we weren't only flying on Sept 11th but also flying out of the same gate as American Airlines flight 11.
I'll never forget those who were lost that day and how we came together for a time post 9/11.
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