September 11, 2001A Chapter by SM Garcia
The story, as far as I know, never actually happened with the exception of what we all know did.
“I don't do it for the money, There's bills that I can't pay
Toby Keith, American Solider (Shockin’ Y’all, 2004)
I looked up and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A plane had just flown overhead and crashed into one of the
I heard people screaming and felt them rushing passed me in the opposite direction. I couldn’t move. I was glued to where I was standing. How could this be happening? Who would do this? Why would they do this?
Maybe it was an accident. It didn’t look like it; it had to be on purpose. It just had to. No one was foolish enough to fly that low around
I know that the
“What happened?” someone asked.
I looked at them. “A plane hit the
They paled and looked up at the Tower. “Was it on purpose?”
I shrugged and stayed where I was at. The person started crying and heading in the opposite direction along with everyone else. I wanted to go up there, see who had made it out, but I didn’t dare. What would happen? I would probably be just one more person for the firefighters and policemen to worry about. Even if I could help, would I actually be of any?
I moved closer to the buildings. I could see where they’d gone in and I saw the flames. I knew that no one was alive on those floors and that the passengers in the planes were gone. I wasn’t positive what floor the planes had hit, but they didn’t look to be at exactly the same height. The second plane looked to be a bit lower than the first.
As I moved closer to the towers, I could hear faint screams. I looked up in enough time to see someone jump from the building. He didn’t get pushed, he didn’t just fall; he had jumped. I couldn’t believe it. Was that going to be the only way out for those people stuck on the floors above the planes? To jump? Please let that not be the case.
The closer I got, the louder the sound of the flames became. The louder everything got. I saw people scrambling to get out of the firemen’s way; out of the policemen’s way. I had to help. I just had to. I couldn’t stand here and do nothing. I could help people get further away. Take them to where I had been standing not more than twenty minutes ago. It was a good distance, far enough away that they could find a car to take them home.
I looked around and didn’t know where to start. I finally spotted a teenage girl, who seemed lost.
“Can I help?” I asked.
“Please,” she begged. “Get me away. Get me away.”
I put my arm around her and helped her move as far away as I could get her and still be able to get back and do my small part to help. “Thank you. Thank you.”
I nodded and went back.
I lost track of the time and froze when I heard the sound of twisting metal. I’d never heard it in person before, only in the movies, but it didn’t sound much different. I grabbed the woman and child with me and started to run. The
I glanced at my watch and it was a minute before 10 am. It was well over 45 minutes after the plane had it. Why was the
I looked behind us and saw the dust. I knew we’d be covered in it, but at least we’d be safe. When I moved these two away, I was going to go over a couple of blocks and see what I could do to help over there.
“Can I help?” I asked.
“Please. Do you have water?” the older woman asked. “Oxygen? The dust is making it hard for me to breath.”
“I will get some for you. Please wait right here, don’t move until I get back.”
I found a paramedic who was directing traffic. I let him know about the woman and after he gathered a few things, I took him to her. He placed an oxygen mask over her face and held the water until she had enough to breath. I nodded to her and then left to find more people to help.
“Miss?” a slightly older man asked. “Can you help? Please?”
I nodded my head vigorously. “Sure. What do you need?” I said.
“Can you please call my wife? I don’t think I’m going to make it. Let her know that I love her.”
“Sir, you’ll be fine. What is the problem? Do you need oxygen? Water? There’s no need to think negatively.”
“I’m having a heart attack and it’ll take too long to get to the hospital.”
My mind was racing. I couldn’t let this man die, not if I could save him. Sure it was a heart attack, but that didn’t mean he had to die. I told him to hang on and I ran to find help. The older woman was gone, but there paramedic was still there.
I explained everything and together, we rushed to where the man sat. I waited while the paramedic looked him over. “He’s gone,” the medic said. “You did the best you could.”
I fought back the tears. I hadn’t even known the man’s name. “Can you look in his pocket for his cell phone? He asked me to make a call for him and I intend to make it.”
The paramedic found the phone and his
She asked me why I had his phone and I let her know what had happened. I told her that I was sorry that he had been alone.
“Don’t worry dear,” she said, through tears. “He wasn’t alone. There was an angel with him and God will take care of him now. Thank you for letting me know what happened. Please be careful.”
I told her I would and hung up. I asked the paramedic to put the phone back in his pocket and then I left.
I looked at my watch as I moved back towards the towers. I felt the ground shake and looked up in enough time to see the
I fell down and was engulfed by the white and gray ash that fell.
I looked up at where the
I couldn’t stay strong any longer and fell onto my back, crying. What was going to happen now? Did these people hit anywhere else?
I heard faint ringing and answered it, “Hello?”
“Are you okay? Where are you?” it was my mother. She lived in
“I’m fine Mom. I never made it to work because the subway was slow. I’ll be coming home for awhile. I’ve had enough of
“Good. You never should have left. A plane hit the Pentagon at 9:37 am and a plane went down in
I told my mother I would get home as soon as the bridges were open. I threw my phone away.
I got up and never looked back.
* * *
September 11, 2001 is a day that I will never forget. I helped many people and got no thanks. I didn’t help to look for fame or anything. I just couldn’t stand by and do nothing.
I’ve heard the songs, seen the movies, read every paper written on the subject. Nothing compares to actually being there and living it.
I knew some of the victims. I knew their families.
I still wake up with dreams of it happening all over again and I ball myself up into the fetal position and cry.
I pray that it never happens again because I don’t know if
Please remember those who have died to protect us and let their memories live on while we live our lives.
© 2011 SM Garcia
Shelved in 1 LibraryAdded on September 13, 2011
Last Updated on September 25, 2011
The Scorned American