September 11, 2014

My 9/11 Memory

I’m deviating from both Blog-Tember activities because I wanted to take today to remember the happenings of September 11th 2001. I’m pretty sure I wrote about this in previous blogs, but I wanted to document it on this one as well.

On 9/11/01 I had just started my senior year in high school and I was couple of weeks short of turning 17. My mom would always come wake me up at 6am because I had to get to the bus stop by 6:40 (I was quick at getting ready!). This particular morning she came in a few minutes before 6am. I grumbled as I looked at the clock, it wasn’t time to get up yet. Then she told me:

“Un avion choco a un edificio en Nueva York”.  You can imagine what that means.

I got up to get to my computer and turned on the TV. As I was bringing up my e-mail, I looked toward the TV and saw the 2nd plane fly into the tower. In my sleepy state I still didn’t quite comprehend what was going on until that moment. I think that at that point I rushed to get dressed and ran downstairs to continue watching the news. My mom wouldn’t let me stay home, but I grabbed my walk-man (remember those?) and continued to listen on the radio.

When my (school) bus arrived my driver greeted me with a smile and I knew she hadn’t heard. I usually sat in the back of the bus except the days that either she or I were particularly talkative. I immediately took the very front seat and told her what happened. She immediately (with her long acrylic nails – I mean it, they were like an inch long!) turned to a news station on the bus’ radio.

Once at school the talk was about what was happening. The classrooms all had televisions in them but they told us we couldn’t turn them. I went to a school that had 4th through 12th graders in it. The administration was afraid of the younger kids seeing what was going on. I was upset because they kept telling us that soon we would be in the “real world” but they wouldn’t let the older kids see what was happening in that “world”. Regardless, they let us listen to our own personal radios to hear what was going on.

Like many, if not most, Americans I was glued to the TV in the hours, days, weeks, and even months that followed. I wanted to see what was going on. I wanted to know all the updates. I wanted to be informed. I didn’t mind that the TV stations played 9/11 programs or the news on a constant loop. I was drawn to it.

As the anniversary neared this year I still was drawn to it and I’ve set my DVR to record as many shows I could find.  

A month or so later my school set up a blood drive with the American Red Cross where I donated blood for the first time. I now, as I mentioned before, help to organized the blood donations at my office 2 to 3 times a year.

Where were you?

Treasure Tromp


  1. I was in 8th grade, and another teacher came into my Spanish class and told my teacher, and he told us and was "this is going to be the biggest event that probably ever happens in your life." I couldn't comprehend how, because I just thought it was a terrible accident since I had never even heard of terrorism before. But when we got sent home early from school (I lived in Maryland right near a military base) I knew it must be a bigger deal than I could even imagine. I wrote a post last year about my memories, and it's just so sad because in addition to all the brave lives we lost that day, the innocence of children was lost too.

  2. Walking into work, newly pregnant, after finding out 2 weeks earlier. It was a beautiful day! A co-worker's husband called to tell us it happened, and we thought he was mistaken.

    Such a shock. Since I am from North Jersey on the NYC train line, I kept wondering and worrying if anyone who went to my high school was in the building (a brother of a high school friend of my sister's).

    In 1986, we went to see the fireworks for the Statue of Liberty in the WTC (a friend of my dad's worked there), and going up in the elevator was scary -- it shook as it ascended way too many flights for my taste. I didn't like it.

    The weekend after it happened, a good friend of the family was getting married, so my husband and I drove up from South Jersey and stayed at my childhood home. Driving up the NYC skyline looked lonely, desolate and unfamiliar with smoke still drifting above. At night, it was disturbingly quiet by the lack of planes flying overhead. Growing up in a suburb near the Newark Airport, you just got used to it, so it was weird.

    One thought circulating my head the whole time was: And I want to bring a child into this scary world?!?

  3. Living outside DC, 5th grade, got out of school early but went home with my stepmother. I could only think of wanting to be with my mom, but it wasn't her weekend.
    It's so sad to think about all the children all over the world that deal with this level of tragedy on a daily basis.

  4. I was in college and couldn't believe what was happening.

  5. I too was in my senior year of high school, a month from turning 17 (in october) and my sister was watching cartoons before school. I came into the great room/kitchen area to get my breakfast and I watched as her cartoons transformed into news (I think every channel was interrupted around where I lived in SoCal but not sure if everywhere else, though I imagine it was everywhere else) and my 9 year old sister and I watched the second plane hit the building and I remember hearing the screaming and thinking it was a movie. Like you I couldn't comprehend what was happening. Unlike your mom, my mom insisted we stay home and my entire family gathered at my grandparents house to pray and try and figure things out. We were all glued to the TV and the radio also. When I went back to school a few days later my Political Science teacher gave this amazing speech and I am so sad that I don't remember it word for word. But the last thing he said was WE CAN NEVER FORGET. And I won't. :)