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My karaoke days could be | Main | Please feel free to share

September 10, 2003

Tomorrow is not just another

Tomorrow is not just another day. We all know that. Rather than go through and outline how 9/11 unfolded for me, how I felt, how I cried, how I was angry, I'd rather talk to you about my trip to New York City.

October 10, 2001--just a few short weeks after the attacks, my mom, dad, and I flew to NYC. We had had this trip planned for months. See, it was my fall break from law school and my birthday was the 12th, so we decided to celebrate. I booked us tickets for 2 Broadway shows--what was to be my first Broadway theater experience. Mom booked us lunch reservations at Windows on the World, in the World Trade Center, for the day of my birthday. Needless to say, those plans didn't happen.

After the attacks, I never in a million years thought we would go. My mom and I hated flying, and to be quite frank, I was scared to death to go there. We talked about it and decided to go through with it. My dad's quote: "If we can help, even just monetarily as tourists, it's our job as soldiers of a different kind." So, off we went.

Of course security was crazy. We boarded the plane (after my mom had stalked the pilot to make sure he was "ok") and we were 3 of 5 people on it. I was starting to wonder, "were we completely INSANE for doing this?" Too late now. Off we went.

We landed in a ghostown known has La Guardia. No one was there. Our luggage was the ONLY luggage on the carousel. An airport worker we were talking to asked us to stay around and talk for awhile--we were the first people she'd seen in days. We did. About 30 minutes later, we went to go get our cab. Rows of cabs waiting--no people. We had our pick of the lot.

We arrived at Times Square near our hotel. More USA memorabilia than you can imagine. A hush was over the city, and everyone was so thankful that we were there. We ventured out and took a ferry ride around Manhattan. To my right--lady Liberty. To my left--mass destruction. Words can't describe.

On our walk back to the hotel, we passed many firestations. We stopped at them all, looked at all the pictures and notes, and cried. The Broadway shows were not played before a full house--maybe half at best. But they were still amazing to me.

Another time we were talking through Times Square, a firetruck drove down the street coming back from a run. Everyone, and I mean everyone stopped what they were doing, dropped their bags, purses, etc., and clapped, whistled, and cheered. More tears.

I wanted to see the NBC studios. We got tickets and took the tour. It was great. That was the day of my birthday. Instead of Windows on the World, we had lunch at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. We also took a carriage ride. It was wonderful. My mom went back to the hotel to nap, so dad and I went to a great Irish pub we found. We were watching the news and saw tons of police at Rockefeller Plaza. To our amazement, the anchor said NBC (where we had JUST a few hours before) was shut down for a possible anthrax attack. Was this trip a TOTAL mistake? I had a sick feeling in my stomach from that moment on.

Our last night there, we had dinner at an amazing restaurant at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a beautiful site--the NYC skyline at night. But there was a massive missing part that no one needed to discuss. The New Yorkers there were awesome, and we sang w/ the piano player well into the night. "New York, New York" and "New York State of Mind." I felt wonderful being with them.

I had never felt so relieved get back to Indiana. But I knew this would be the most necessary trip I ever went on--ever.

This was a short version of my accounts. I didn't want to bore you. I have many emotions with regard to tomorrow. What if the attacks had been a month later? Would I have been in the World Trade Center? And I think I have more anger than some...because while I want things to end peacefully, I'm left thinking and singing a line from Toby Keith's song: "We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way."

Yes it is. And I'm proud of that.

Posted by Lawren at September 10, 2003 10:21 PM

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