I remember this day vividly. I remember the days following. 18 years ago I was just trying to finish college and naive about the world. What a huge wake up call to the realities and ugliness.
During this time I was working as an assistant manager at a store in the mall called New York & Company. I didn’t work that day, but I know we closed early. NY&Co was owned by the Limited Brand and they had stores in one of the towers. Out of respect all the stores closed for the rest of the day. The next day I opened and we had specific instructions…..remove all signage and displays that showed the twin towers. I don’t know if that was the right thing to do, but it was a very uncertain time.
It was very surreal and sad removing it all. I had never been to NYC but I was surrounded by it every day. Sadly, the company had just recently unveiled their new credit card that prominently displayed the twin towers. I was able to snag one of the displays we had of the credit card. It would look like night or day depending on the angle. I had it hanging in my apartment until I moved out. I also bought one of their graphic tees that also had an image of the towers.They are all I have of a place I was never able to visit.
The last picture is of my daughter wearing my shirt. That I used to fit in back then. My daughter who was born years after this, and has no idea how that day felt.
I remember sitting on my friend’s couch watching all the coverage. I remember how quiet the sky was that night with no air traffic. I remember feeling small and helpless, and guilty for being grateful I wasn’t there. I remember going to bed afraid that night, not knowing what else could happen. I remember waking up the next morning thinking it was all a terrible dream. And 18 years later…..I still remember exactly how I felt and it still hits me hard. And I have are these small little reminders of that time that I completely cherish.
18 years ago. It was so long ago but it still feels like it just happened.