The Son of A Firefighter  

Date Submitted: 9/11/2015
Author Info: Joshua (San Francisco, CA, United States - USA) 
Occupation: Administrative 
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No 
Knew someone who perished?: No 

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I am currently 24 and living in San Francisco, but on 9/11/01 I was 10 years old and living in San Diego. When the attacks happened it was only 5 AM in California and my father, who is a fire marshal, abruptly woke my brother and I up. "They are attacking the Towers" he said. This didn't make any sense to me. I lived in California my whole life, so I did not know New York very well at this age. As I was getting ready for school I remember watching the building smolder on live TV as my mother was getting ready in the bathroom. I told her that a tower fell and she came in and stared at the TV. On my way to school I remember expressing to her that I was scared to go to class. The rest of my day was a blur. In May of 2014, I traveled to New York for fun and decided to visit to 9/11 Memorial Museum while I was there. It just so happened that my visit fell on 5/30/14, 12 years to the date when the final structural steel column from the original World Trade Center was ceremoniously removed, marking the official end to the recovery effort. I was exploring the museum when I heard bagpipes echo throughout the hall. I then saw 6 police or fire chiefs lined up in front of the rusted pillar for pictures. I never had the chance to grieve the events that happened on 9/11/01, because I was so young and so far way from New York City, but on this day I had a hard time holding back my tears. I looked at fire gear covered in ash and charred fire helmets, and couldn't help thinking that it could have been my dad who perished on that day. On this spring day in May 2014 I finally felt all of the emotion and heartache I was unable to experience at the young age of 10 and it was very moving.  


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A million thoughts raced through my head. And then I witnessed the most horrific thing I've ever witnessed in my 36 years of life. A TV had been set up in the break room, and we all watched in horror as first one, then both Towers fell. I can't describe the sadness, the feeling was too intense to justify in words.

Jack (story excerpt)


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