Where were you when it happened?
That is a question many will either ask or they themselves will ponder when they recall the events on September 11th 2001. I have written about my experience before but never on Chicagonow. My day was not extraordinary but it was a day like many other Chicagoans I was at work in an office building in the Loop.
The day was just beginning, when my boss said something about a plane flying into the World Trade Center. I remember cracking a dumb joke about a pilot getting fired for that, this was of course before I actually knew what happened. When I thought it was just a story of pilot error. In a few minutes not only would I find out I was wrong but just how wrong I was.
It was then that the second plane crashed into the second building. Suddenly everyone knew we were under attack, we were at war. I remember a lot of confusion and it seems cliché but the world stopped. Though a lot was happening the phones stopped ringing it was as if all at once the world knew the worst was yet to come.
We were notified of evacuation of the Loop because there were initial fears that Chicago could be targeted. I, like a lot folks who work downtown, took public transportation. My walk to the train was eerie, a sort of controlled chaos. I remember looking skyward hoping that I would not see anything out of ordinary.
There was no train schedule, it was just once a train was filled it was gone. I got on my train home and one thing I noticed along with others on the train was the odor of peanuts. I was sitting on the floor of the vestibule and looked over and there was a huge burlap sack filled with peanuts. Suddenly everyone was asking who the sack belonged to, a deep voice sounded off that it was his and this mountain of a man stepped forward and suddenly the questions stopped. We all went back to focusing on trying to make sense of the events of the day.
I got home and turned my television on. I did not even change I just laid on my stomach and watched numbly as events unfolded and news reports came in regarding what followed at the Pentagon. Every once in a while the scenes would bring tears to my eyes. This was our Pearl Harbor and in the ensuing days and weeks I watched a separated country become one again.