It’s hard to believe that 9/11 was 20 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday… I was working in Sacramento and flew back to my parent’s home, and was set to leave to go back to California the morning of 9/11. My dad a retired TWA pilot, drove me to Newark airport and on the way, I wanted to turn the radio on. My dad did the “dadest” thing and told me “let’s leave it off and just talk.” We talked about my finances, my love life, and my future.
As we got closer to NYC we saw smoke billowing from the sky, what I couldn’t see was that it was the World Trade Center. My dad dropped me off at Newark Airport around 8:50 am. I walked right through security and down to my gate for my 10:10 am departure. When I got there the gate agent told me “We’re delayed, a small plane hit the Trade Center.” Little did we know it was a passenger jet and it was just the beginning.
I went to a small bar where the news was on, and with a group of viewers, we all witnessed the 2nd plane hit the other tower at 9:37 am. At that point, we all knew we weren’t flying out that day, and it was a major terrorist attack. The airport went into evacuation mode. We were ordered to leave and go out front for pick up. My dad tried to drive back into the airport but it was closed already.
While standing in line for a cab with 100’s of others… I was listening to the radio through my headphones, at 10:45ish it was announced that the tower collapsed. I then became the guy who was delivering news to people who were unaware. I’ll never forget hearing people crying, people who had loved ones in those towers… I took a cab home and didn’t fly back to California for 5 days.
The loss of life that day was immense. Innocent victims of a senseless act. I’ll never forget and still cry about it from time to time. The way we would be screened, and fly out of airports would be forever changed.
One more note… While I was home watching the news I kept hearing about Flt. 93. I was wondering why that sounded so familiar to me, turns out I had listed that flight on a small piece of paper as a potential return flight. Thankfully I didn’t want to wake up that early and booked a different flight last minute. I still have that sheet of paper with my flight options. Flt. 93 was the first flight I chose as you can see it’s started along with the America West Flight I ended up on…
I still wonder how I could’ve been part of that now-infamous “Let’s Roll” rebellion on that flight.
I still have newspapers from 9/11 9/12/ and 9/13 check them out… It’s crazy how the world changed after 9/11. The Post had a slow news day.
Finally here’s a news story from years ago as covered by WSOC TV.