This morning, I woke up and remembered.
I was teaching 9th grade and one of my students was secretly listening to his radio. He broke the news to the class that a plane had crashed into one of the towers. Soon, we learned that it was much worse than a plane crash.
Many of my students and co-workers had family and friends working in or near the towers. We all sat glued to the radio. All I remember from that day is trying over and over again to reach my boyfriend on his cell phone. Over and over. My boyfriend took the train into the towers every day to his job on Maiden Lane. That morning he was going to fly out to Newark for a work trip, but needed to go into the office early for some paperwork. He walked out of the towers early that morning and made it to his office two blocks away before the first plane hit. He listened and watched from his office windows, which were covered in ash, that morning. He finally reached me on my phone and as he told me he was alright, the second tower collapsed. I remember him saying, “Oh my God.” He waited until he thought it was safe and made his way to a ferry, which took him to Hoboken. He was hosed down and decontaminated. At 6 pm that night, he made it to my apartment.
We were lucky. He made it home.
I remember that story every year on September 11. My boyfriend became my husband 11 months later. We married in NYC.