Where I Was on 9/11

10 years ago, on 9/11, I’m living in New York City.

I’m still an actress, but making ends meet at a Temp Agency in the Empire State Building. On September 11th, 2001, Abe goes out on his very first job through my company. I’m not working that day, so I call him from our apartment in Astoria, Queens – bright and early to make sure he’ll fill out the employment card correctly.

“The World Trade Center’s on fire,” he says, upon answering his phone.

“Huh?”

“There’s smoke coming from the World Trade Center.  I can see it from the window here.”

Then I look at the TV.  But there is nothing on yet. I figure it must not be serious, and continue giving instructions about signing in, getting his supervisor’s signature, etc. As we are talking, the breaking news flashes across the screen. I relay the information to Abe, who is immediately concerned.

“I’m coming home,” he responds.

“You can’t! You’re on a job! You just got there!”

“I don’t care, I’m getting out of here.”

Thank God for Abe’s insistence. As the day goes on, it becomes clear how serious the situation is, and he literally runs home to me, catching a carpool with one of the last cabs to cross the Queensboro Bridge as the second tower collapses.

We stand on our roof watching the smoke until we can’t see it anymore.

world trade center, ferry

The days and weeks that follow are a daze. We walk all over the city, including Ground Zero with Abe’s parents, who volunteer their therapy services. We have long conversations with people we never speak to before. I spend a lot of time with my family in NJ.  I take time off from acting and the temp job. When the latter resumes, we deal with constant evacuations and bomb threats, on an almost daily basis.  Since I’m working at The Empire State Building, I learn to accept it.

I never feel afraid but am paralyzed for a while, and wonder when we will be able to move on.

Now it’s a decade later and I realize we have.

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14 thoughts on “Where I Was on 9/11

  1. Kelsey

    It’s scary having something like that etched into your memory but at the same time it obviously puts a big perspective into one’s view of the world at large, from a young age. Thanks for sharing this, especially as a way of portraying the strength of Americans, resilience and heart 🙂

    xoxo <3

  2. Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)

    This gave me chills. Although I wasn’t in NY, I still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember calling Tony to tell him while he was at work. I still can’t describe the feelings I had that day. Those we lost that day will always be remembered.

  3. Ashley@bakerbynature

    Oh Lynn, it’s like you read my mind. Sitting here in NYC this weekend, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed with emotion from something that happened 10 years ago – yet feels so fresh in many ways. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words and thoughts.

  4. Natasha

    Wow. Thank you for sharing Lynn…and yes – Abe was right to come home to you…
    I was on stand-by catching a flight back to LA via Air Canada (my Dad was with Air Canada for 30 years and had retired 3 months before 9/11 – and I had always flown as Air Canada “family”). He and I were drinking tea and just as we were going to leave for the airport – the news flash came on the TV….
    That day – I decided to move back to Toronto. I flew back with my Mum 4 weeks later…ended my engagement, left my house in Topanga Cyn.,packed 4 suit cases and left with my most prized love – Jake my dog – and left LA.
    Here I am today – living on the rugged Eastern coast of Canada – safe, happy, in love – and alive.

  5. Carrie (Carrie on Vegan)

    So glad you were safe on that tragic day. I had just started business school at USC and was driving into the city when I heard the news. I saw people in cars next to me crying. I went to school and we had classes but were all kind of stunned. The company where my husband worked was in the 2nd tower that collapsed and they lost several employees (he was with me in LA). I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. I guess the only thing that helps the sadness for the lives lost are the stories of survival, resilience and hope. Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. stephsnacks

    What a tragic but true post. 10 years ago I was 13 years old and in my 8th grade classroom, afraid that my father who worked in the city was hurt or killed. Thank God he wasn’t and God Bless those who were.

  7. Kate

    What a great post. I was also in New York that day. We had just moved there from Texas and I was at school, in 3rd grade. All of a sudden, kids started getting pulled out of classes and no one knew what was going on. Everywhere was chaos – all the roads were closed and we were just glued to the television. It really seemed so hard to imagine what was happening. We lived on Long Island but were still able to see the smoke and smell burning.

  8. Karla @ Foodologie

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s so interesting how this event manages to evoke so many emotions, regardless of whether you were in NYC or not. I was in California getting ready for school and I used to watch the news while I got ready. Since I drove myself to school at that point (I think?), I remember rushing into my parent’s room and turning on their tv. I don’t think anyone will ever forget where they were that day.

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