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Where Were You On September 11, 2001? (my story)

It started like any other day, I was at my martial arts school getting ready to teach the 9:00am kickboxing class in Rockland County (a suburb of New York City), when my wife called to tell me that someone "flew into the twin towers". Initially it was thought to be an accident and the reporters didn't even know that it was a commercial plane.

My wife who worked in New Jersey across the river from Manhattan was able to see the smoking World Trade Center, so I told her to call me if anything else happened. I remember bringing the cordless phone onto the kickboxing floor just in case.

And then it happened! My wife called me again to tell me that another plane hit the towers, and that they thought it might be terrorism. I immediately told my students what was going on, and cancelled the class.

Listening to the radio, the newsman told everyone to get home to safety, as they were getting reports of other planes coming down too (in DC and Pennsylvania). No one knew what was going on!

I immediately closed to go pick up my one-year-old child from daycare. People on the road were driving erratically, running red lights and driving on the sidewalks. Everyone was panicking. What was normally a ten-minute ride took over an hour to get there. It all seemed surreal and felt like one of those end-of-the-world movies.

When I got to the daycare, a guy whose wife worked at the world trade center, was there. He was upset, and repeated nervously that he hadn’t heard anything yet. I felt terrible for him and his children!

Once home, I held my son, turned on the news, and watched in horror at the evil that had occurred. After many hours of awaiting nervously, I was grateful to see my wife make it home safely.

In the coming days, we found out we lost family, friends, and students on September 11. This infamous day will forever be burned in my memory.

Let’s never forget the horrors that we, our friends, and our families had to endure on September 11, 2001. Share your “9/11 story” and keep the memories going of those we have lost.

Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon

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