A lot of people are posting their thoughts and memories of that day. Many of you lost a loved one, maybe you were there and made it out of harm’s way. Whatever your own story, I know the world changed for everyone in a different way.
I live in California, so it was not even 6 am when the first plane hit.
I woke up early that morning, not even 6 am and since I worked in finance I turn on the television and watch the pre-market reports. I was particularly excited that morning because I was going to get the details of a job offer for my dream job, to be portfolio manager in the San Francisco office of a fund management company based in NY. The president had asked me to call him that day to finalize the details of the job.
When I turned on the TV I didn’t see the usual financial desk reporters. It went to a shot of one tower of the WTC with a hole in the side. It had happened not even five minutes earlier and they didn’t even know yet it was a plane. It took a while for the specifics to become clear. I watched.
As soon as they found out plane came from Logan (Boston) I called up one of my best friends who was from Boston. “Kari, a plane from Logan hit the WTC. You need to make sure no one you know was on the plane.” She hung up and called everyone. This was before Facebook and Twitter and we still called or emailed.
I knew I wouldn’t be talking to my new boss that day. While the company’s office was not in the WTC, many of the clients and colleagues worked there. Instead, I sat in bed and watched the whole drama of the day unfold. All day and all night.
Wednesday night I had planned a dinner for a group of twenty people for a dining club I organized. One guy called me up to say he wanted to come even though he didn’t reserve a spot. He told me a friend of his had been on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. His friend had died crashing their own plane to save other people. Of course he could come along.
That dinner wasn’t much fun. We all sat around stunned at what had happened the day before. We didn’t have many details and thankfully, estimates of how many people were lost were high. But it was something we would never forget. My friend Kari, from Boston, found out no one she knew was on the plane, but her brother’s office was across the street from WTC. Thankfully he left as soon as the first attack hit and he was fine.
I never got my dream job offer. The company said they wouldn’t be hiring anyone for at least six months. Six months dragged to a year and then they scaled back their business due to the effects on the financial markets. The financial industry was never the same. Many people lost their lives, others their jobs, and the economy has never really recovered either. I moved to a new career since there were no jobs available for a very long time in the one I had spent ten years working in.
Of course, that’s not the same as losing someone, or even knowing how many lives were lost. I’m still shocked when I think about just how much the entire world has changed since that day. Flying on a plane or visiting a government building will never be the same. Racial profiling now includes people who aren’t even Muslim. Many people stopped trusting that day and it’s just another thing that saddens me.
Word Counts - Today: 0 | September: 8,000 | 2012: 112,800