September 11: I Will Never Forget (and a 9/11 Movie giveaway, ends 9/12)

This original post appeared on Drugstore Divas in 2012. The giveaway portion was added in 2017 and is sponsored by Tether Group.

I’m from New York, born and raised. I lived in Queens until it was time for me to go to school, and then we moved up 30 miles North of New York City to the suburbs because Queens is one of the five boroughs, and my parents didn’t want to raise their kids in the City.

My dad still drives the subway in the City, has since before I was born, still does, and did on September 11.

I was in class in college when the first tower was hit. We didn’t hear about it in class. I was in college and there wasn’t a PA system. Plus, no one really thought anything of it.

I had a meeting after class with the student activities director. I was in her office and she had her radio on. “A plane just hit the twin towers,” she said. Very calmly. She didn’t think much of it.

“Was it terrorists?” I asked.

That’s the first time in my entire life I remember saying that word. It was such a foreign word, and why it came out then was just a reaction. I didn’t think much of it. She turned the radio off, ignored her ringing cell phone, and we carried on our meeting about some school related activity I wanted to have: a fondue tower or a fundraiser.

My then-boyfriend ran into her office. “There you are!” he exclaimed.

“I’m in a meeting,” I said, slightly embarrassed.

“School’s closed. We have to go home. Planes hit the twin towers. You have to leave now.”

I didn’t know what was going on. All of a sudden, those phone calls and radio broadcasts we didn’t think much of became a reality. School was close to the City and we were asked to leave. Immediately.

“Will you come home with me”?” I asked my then-boyfriend. It wasn’t even 11am. My house was going to be empty. My parents were at work and my brothers were in school. I didn’t want to be alone.

“I can walk you to your car, but I have to see if my family is okay,” he said.

When I got in my car, I froze. I wanted to drive down to the City to see what was going on. It was so close. Not even a 30 minute drive to get to the George Washington Bridge to cross into Manhattan. But what if I got stuck there and couldn’t cross the bridge to get back. No, I couldn’t do that.

I figured I would go home and go online and see if there was anything there. But then I realized I would be tying up the phone line (yes, we still had dial up) and what if someone needed to call?

And then it dawned on me. This was huge. This would be on the news.

I went home, turned on the news, and the now iconic footage was there. They kept showing the destruction, the people, the road closures, the subway closures.

Subway. My dad.

I prayed so hard, on my knees, literally, begging God for my dad to be okay. “Bring him home, please,” I prayed, “Even if he is missing a limb, please bring him home.”

I called my mom at work and told her I was picking up my brothers from school. She said no, to leave them there. But I couldn’t. I didn’t know what was going on, exactly, but I didn’t want to leave them at school. I went to the high school and picked up my brother. I went to the middle school and picked up my other brother.

“Why are you picking me up?” he asked me in front of the 7th grade English teacher.

I looked at the teacher, and then at my then 12-year-old brother. “Because it’s a sunny day,” I said. The teacher nodded in approval.

My dad came home late that night, but he came home in one piece. That’s a lot more than I can say for so many men and women who were in the September 11th attacks and so many men and women who have been lost since, defending our country.

No one I know personally was lost in the tragedy. I know people who made narrow escapes, people who should have been in the towers at the time, but that’s as close as it got for me. I know people who know people who were lost, who were in the rubble, who escaped. I heard stories that bear no repeating but have branded my heart and soul.

Today is September 11 and with a few moments of collective silence around the country, let us remember what happened, how it affected us, and those who lost their lives because of the day. Let us honor them by never forgetting. Because no matter your race, creed, sexuality, or any other difference that tears us down and breaks us apart, remember, on September 11, 2001, we all remembered that we are American. And American we still are today, eleven years later.

I bring all this up today because I just screened the new 9/11 movie staring Charlie Sheen (Jeffrey Cage), Whoppi Goldberg (Metzie), and Luis Guzman (Eddie).

The movie opens with a few quick scenes to introduce the characters: young father Michael (Wood Harris) whose daughter is celebrating a birthday; young Tina (Olga Fonda) who has a dog; billionaire Jeffrey Cage and his soon-to-be ex-wife Eve (Gina Gershon) who is filing divorce papers; custodial engineer Eddie; and late to work elevator control monitor Metzie. 

By fate, all these characters beside Metzie get stuck in an elevator in the North Tower as it is struck by the plane. They get a little play-by-play of the situation from Metzie, but mostly, they really don’t know what’s going on. They’re confused and scared.

And that’s exactly how I felt on 9/11.

Metzie has a television in her office where she (and, by that, us the audience) are watching old footage from that day, footage that I can still see when I close my eyes.

I’ll be honest: I was worried about this movie. A 9/11 movie starring Charlie Sheen. The last time I saw him, he was on an entertainment show talking about he was winning. He wouldn’t be the one I picked to star in … well, anything. But he was born in New York City, as was Whoopi, and maybe that compelled them to be a part of this, to invoke those feelings.

Because that’s what this movie does for me.

They mention the 1993 attacks, which I remember hearing about in middle school. I didn’t understand them then, but I remember a friend telling me about them. They are having cell phone trouble, which I remember so well from that day. They mention people jumping from the towers, and, as much as I want to forget that, I remember it so well too.

There’s a scene when the five characters are just talking, about themselves, about their lives, about their families. It has nothing to do with 9/11 and everything to do with character building, to make them normal and relatable. I didn’t need that though. Anyone watching this doesn’t need that though. Because you already know these people. When you lived through 9/11, you already know how normal people were affected.

People are concerned that this movie is ill-timed; they’re worried about anything with Charlie Sheen’s fingerprints on it. No one needs to be worried about this. Is it going to win awards? No. But is it going to pull at your heartstrings when Eve’s mom makes phone calls to tell people their loved ones are safe? Yes. Because those are the feelings I felt when my dad finally walked in the door.

The ending of this? The ending sucks. Not for the ending itself but because it just abruptly goes to black with no resolution. It’s one of those “draw your own conclusion” type endings, and I like more of a “tell me what happens” type of ending. But other than that, I didn’t hate it.

The movie opens on September 8, if you ant to see it. For now, you can enter our giveaway. We are giving away a 9/11 poster hand signed by Charlie Sheen, a “Hope” pendant necklace, and a guide to Talking To Your Children About 9/11 thanks to Tuesday’s Children.

Tuesday’s Children is an organization providing supporting youth and families impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss relating to 9/11. I didn’t even know that group existed until now, but I’m so glad it does. Those families may still need help and I’m glad they have resources available to them.

If you want to win the prize pack, enter via the Rafflecopter below. And if you want to check out the movie, head over to this link.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck.

This giveaway starts now and ends at 11:59pm EST on September 12. The winner must be a US resident who is 18 or older.

  1. Jilli

    September 11, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Thank you….

  2. kimie

    September 11, 2012 at 12:31 am

    It amazes me that there are kids today that weren’t even born yet and are clueless to this tragic event, we all need to never forget.

  3. Stefani

    September 11, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Thanks for sharing, brought back every emotion for me…

  4. aprila

    September 11, 2012 at 7:09 am

    great post. I will never forget that day. I remember exactly where and what I was doing that day. It is still hard to comprehend the magnitude of that day and watching any videos about it makes me cry.So many innocent lives lost because of hateful people

  5. Jennifer Williams

    September 11, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I do not think anyone will ever forget everything they did that day. This brought back so many memories. Beautiful post.

  6. connie danielson

    September 2, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I remember and I shall never forget

  7. vickie couturier

    September 2, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I Remember

  8. diane therkildsen

    September 2, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    I was suppose to go on a day trip to Mount Rushmore and of course all the flights were cancelled.

  9. Sandy Klocinski

    September 3, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I Remember

  10. kim keithline

    September 3, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I Remember

  11. Richard Hicks

    September 4, 2017 at 1:07 am

    I Remember

  12. Gina Ferrell

    September 4, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    I Remember

  13. Michaela Kay

    September 6, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I Remember…

  14. KENNETH OHL

    September 6, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    I Remember

  15. Trudy

    September 6, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    I remember my 10 year old daughter listening to the radio and telling me another plane hit the world trade center. At that moment, I knew it wasn’t an accident

  16. Tiffany Schmidt

    September 6, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Ironically I left class and was with my student activities director as well. I remember turning on the tiny tv in our office and watching the second tower. Still so vivid and surreal. I remember.

    1. drugstore diva lisa

      September 7, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Wow, Tiffany. I’m getting chills at how similar our stories are. We turned on the radio, not the tv, but still, so similar.

  17. Julie Terry

    September 8, 2017 at 3:00 am

    I remember

  18. Jamie Williams

    September 8, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I remember.

  19. Amber Hites

    September 9, 2017 at 3:18 am

    I was a year out of high school, I visited the World Trade Center September of 2000 on a school trip. The morning of, I was sleeping in before college classes. My mom called and told me to turn on the TV and it was a few seconds before the second plane flew in, I saw that live. I will never forget. I remember.

  20. Brandy Schwartz

    September 9, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I remember.

  21. susan smoaks

    September 9, 2017 at 11:23 am

    i remember

  22. Brenda Elsner

    September 10, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I Remember

  23. Susan Chester

    September 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    I remember :(

  24. Beth Stephens

    September 11, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I remember.

  25. Laurie Emerson

    September 11, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I remember living in Base Housing and watching it on TV. My heart sank as I knew that there would be so many casualties. I also knew it would change our life forever and it did as my husband received orders for Iraq 3 times.

  26. Eileen Boyce

    September 12, 2017 at 2:48 am

    I remember being at work as manager of an apt. couples and a tenant told me. I walked outside and just stared at the sky like something was going to happen. I called my daughters and husband to tell them. It was scary when the PA one went down an hour from us.

  27. Julie Waldron

    September 12, 2017 at 9:52 am

    I Remember. :(

  28. jeremy mclaughlin

    September 12, 2017 at 10:22 am

    I remember.

  29. Amy delong

    September 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I remember

  30. Leah Shumack

    September 12, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I remember!

  31. krystal wethington

    September 12, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I Remember

  32. Stephanie Liske

    September 12, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    I Remember

  33. Philip Lawrence

    September 12, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    “I Remember.’

  34. Sand

    September 12, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    I remember, it was one of the saddest days of my life. Even visiting that area, makes my heart so heavy. When I saw the fountains for the first time, I just had such a sense of grief.

  35. Trisha McKee

    September 12, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I remember. My daughter was one, i was working from home. My mother called and told me to turn the television on. My oldest was in elementary and the school was on lockdown. The scariest for me was when the third plane crashed in Pennsylvania… that’s my state.

  36. Denise W

    September 12, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    I remember being in total shock as I watched the towers hit by planes in the news. It was surreal.

  37. Jerry Marquardt

    September 12, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    I remember . . . That day!

  38. Rob

    September 13, 2017 at 9:40 am

    I remember September 11.

  39. Milt

    September 13, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I remember September 11.

  40. Marc

    September 13, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I remember September 11.

  41. Paulet

    September 13, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I remember September 11.

  42. Malv

    September 13, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I remember September 11.

  43. Aaron

    September 13, 2017 at 9:46 am

    I remember September 11.

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