9/11 Chapter from The Apple Tree Blossoms in the Fall | Stories of Life

Chapter 72

NINE ELEVEN

September 11, 2001

It was 9-11, an unforgettable day. It was the day, when the majestic Twin Towers tumbled down like a pile of dominos, and the whole world witnessed the sight with horror. A day that the devil rejoiced for his evil actions, and his admirers danced in the streets….And a day when the only Muslim nation that observed a solemn candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of 9-11 was Iran.
At seven-thirty in the morning, we were crossing the Tri-Borough Bridge, driving from Manhattan to Long Island. Dennis, a friend of the family, who also worked for Caro’s company, was waiting for us by the entrance of Caro’s Long Island office to drive me home. We had spent the previous night in Manhattan celebrating the birthdays of Caro and Zaven, Jackie’s brother. We have always had a good time spending September 10-a double birthday-with Zaven, whom we dearly love.
As we headed toward Long Island in our Lexus, we talked about Nicole`s wedding. Nicole is the daughter of our friends, Jerry and Shirley. Nicole’s wedding was going to be held on the coming Saturday at the famous Windows on the World Restaurant in the Twin Towers. I was debating with Caro, whether I should wear my long, black and burgundy outfit.
Normally when we travel, without exception, we always have the car radio on. However, we did not that morning. We were busy talking, when we heard a horrifying noise… a big bang like that of an explosion.
“I think there was a shooting,” I speculated.
“Really… what was that noise?” Caro mused out-loud.
When we arrived in Roslyn to drop Caro off, Dennis was standing by the entrance, smoking a cigarette. The moment he laid his eyes upon us, he rushed forward and uttered, “You won’t believe what just happened!”
“What happened,” Caro began, as he got out of the car to offer the driver’s seat to Dennis, who was going to return the car to the office for Caro after driving me home.
Dennis exclaimed grimly, “Two planes just crashed into the Twin Towers.”
I thought he was joking. How could that happen? Then I remembered the horrifying sound of the bang.
“Seriously, turn on the radio, and you’ll find out,” Dennis said.
As Dennis and I drove on toward our house, the announcer on the radio suddenly cried out, “Oh my God! I can’t believe it…One of the towers just crashed down!” and a few seconds later her shaky voice came on again, “What a disaster… the second one collapsed too!”
Within seconds, the Western Long Island Expressway, leading toward Manhattan, was inundated by speeding fire engines, which were all heading down to the city. It was a strange feeling. It felt like I was dreaming.
Soon, I came to myself and muttered, “Can you imagine how many people must have died?”

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