Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

September 11th, 2001

I was living in Montgomery, Alabama for only a few months. I was in between leaving my year on the road with the Missoula Children's Theatre and my move to New York City. I had been in Charlotte, NC the day before and had just flown in to Alabama with my Dad on September 10th. I had been auditioning for some theatre jobs. I was on a plane the day before. Just typing that gives me chills.

I was working for a few months at WCOV Fox 20 doing sales and promotions. I watched the Today Show as I got ready for work. Nothing special. I remember they were talking about Michael Jordan retiring again. As I was driving to work I heard the radio stations taking about a plane crash. When I walked in the lobby the TV was on and it had just happened. The first plane had just hit the north tower.

We all know what happened next. I spent the day huddled in the lobby with co workers. We watched the whole thing. We watched every minute live including the instant both towers fell. When I went home at 5:00, I just hugged my parents for what seemed like hours.

My Dad worked at the Pentagon from 1990-2000. I actually interned there in the summer of '97. I remember his shock as he tried to figure out where the plane had hit. Were his co-workers safe? Nobody knew at that point. It was so confusing. I just kept redialing my friends that lived in NYC. All I got was busy signals. I think I watched CNN until dawn the next morning. Nobody could sleep.

I had an apartment hunting trip in NYC scheduled for the first week in October. I had already bought my plane ticket and there was no way I was going to miss that trip. I wanted so badly to be in the city I loved so much. The security was understandably tight. There were soldiers everywhere. Nerves were on edge. But I was happy to be there.

I took these shots while I was in NYC. These were taken just three weeks after 9/11.

For reference, this was obviously the before shot.

This was the same angle in early October, 2001. You can still see the smoke and the twisted metal coming out of buildings. This was as close as they would let us get so this was taken about 4 blocks away.

Another shot. By the way, these were taken during the daytime. It appears to b dark because there was still so much dust everywhere. It clouded the sky.

Taken downtown in Washington Square. You can see that people still had missing posters up. Heartbreaking.

My friends and I stayed downtown for hours and just cried.

Scene outside of a fire station in mid town. I believe that this company had lost several members, but I can't remember how many.

I do remember the very last time I was in the World Trade Center towers. They had a TKTS booth there. That is where you can buy discount tickets to Broadway shows. Most tourists use the one in Times Square and so locals who wanted to catch an evening show would go to the one at the WTC. It was the summer of 1999 and I was working at a theatre outside of Philadelphia. We would drive into the city when we had nights off to catch a show. I went in with some cast members and we went to the towers to the TKTS booth to buy tickets to see, "Annie get Your Gun." It was so busy and bustling and alive! That was the last time I would ever walk inside the towers.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4


Caroline Armstrong said...

well you have some pretty amazing pictures there. I know you have so much love for that city. I have just cried so much today and I thought it was very poignant that the 10th anniversary was on a Sunday. A place where we could be together at church. Where we could be unified with so many people.
p.s. loved your post about your grandmother. She seemed like such an amazing woman and you have so many beautiful pictures with her! You can just see the awe and love you had for her. Thank you for sharing...

starnes family said...

Amazing pictures. Such a dark time. Loved reading your story.