I remember waking up in my Downtown Memphis apartment as if it were any other day of the week. At six in the morning, it was still just another Tuesday. The cat perched on the edge of the bed, glaring at me because he wanted food. Joe grumbled for the same.
I took my shower then tossed on my Sleep Out Louie’s t-shirt and my jeans, ready to head out to the downtown restaurant I managed back in those days. Joe woke up while I was watching television and asked me if I would make a McDonald’s run before I left. Sure. No problem.
I was sitting in the drive through after ordering a sausage and egg biscuit for me and breakfast burritos for Joe, listening to Howard Stern ramble on about something most likely lewd, but funny none the less, because back in those days I didn’t have streaming media in my car and didn’t have an ipod. The CDs I carried were getting old and well, Howard made me laugh.
I approached the window just as Howard said, “A plane hit one of the twin towers!”
Now, of course, I was a bit taken aback by the news, but like most, didn’t really think anything of it. As I was pulling onto the road leading down to my apartment, the second plane hit. Okay, now it’s time to panic.
Believe it or not, I can recall every moment I was in the car, listening to Howard and Robin and the other people in the studio talk about what they saw. I remember getting back to the apartment and immediately turning on Fox News. I stayed glued to the television up until the very last second, when I had no choice but to leave so I could go to work.
When I arrived in Downtown Memphis (very close to the Federal Building) the place was a ghost town. Now, at that point, I didn’t know the Pentagon had been attacked and the one person I saw in the Parking Garage didn’t mention it. She told me downtown was closed because of terrorist threats. I later found out that wasn’t the case. A gas main had ruptured and downtown was evacuated, but at that point, I suppose it was a safe assumption.
That day, I went back home and stayed glued to the television—watching everything unfold, the mass chaos and fear. I watched people cry for their loved ones and listened to reporters’ speculations. Honestly, nothing ever scared me so much. I believed everything about this country was going to change and the freedoms we enjoyed, we would no longer have. We as a country lost a lot during the 9-11 attacks. Some people lost family and loved ones, some lost their sense of peace and privacy. Some citizens lost their safety and became targets of racist, bigoted attacks.
How was your life changed after 9-11?