I wasn’t anywhere special. I was a sophomore in college, and I lived on the 7th floor of Yocum Hall on what used to be Ozark Avenue. I woke up to the louder-than-usual TV and my roommate telling me to check our phone for a voicemail. Our RD had left a voicemail for everyone in the building – there had been an accident in New York. We watched the news all morning and when the second plane crashed we knew something was really, really wrong. It goes without saying that it was all people could talk about. It seemed everyone knew someone who knew someone who was in NY that day. And even those of us who didn’t know someone personally – knew that it would affect us.
When I was in New York for work a few weeks ago, we were on the 16th floor of the Saatchi & Saatchi building in the West Village and looking out the window to see the Statue of Liberty. The NY members of my team were telling us the story of the day they stood in that window and watched the first tower in flames – thinking it was an accident. They stood in that window and watched the second plane hit. They described the chaos that immediately took over — people just dropped everything and ran. Everyone trying – at once – to use cell phones — circuits were jammed. There was a woman, 8 months pregnant, trying desperately to call her husband. Managers going from office to office making sure everyone was going home — giving hugs to people in hysterics. They said you really saw another side of people’s character that day. It was surreal to hear a first-hand account like that — myself being “safely” tucked away in Fayetteville, Arkansas on that day.
Where were you?