The morning of September 11, 2001, I woke up nervous and scared. I was having surgery that morning and it was the first time going under general anesthesia. I had to be at the hospital at 6:30 am PST. While getting ready to go my mom called and said that a plane had hit the World Trade Centers. I remember thinking that was terrible but I really didn't comprehend what happened. I was trying to mentally get prepared for my surgery and was "shutting" down to try and control my nervousness. While we were driving to the hospital we had the news channel on the radio and then we heard that the other tower had been hit. I was already a bit numb but felt like this was terrible.
We were checked in to the hospital and we watched the first tower collapse on the TV in the waiting room. It was so unbelievable that it was happening. Everyone in the waiting was quiet and watching the TV. When I was taken back to the pre-op area there wasn't a TV so I didn't know what was happening. The anesthesiologist came in and of course we were talking about what happened. He made a comment to me that was not very comforting basically he said, "It's still early out here on the West Coast we don't know what's going to happen when it's 9:00." I thought great, I'm going to be in surgery during that time. I remember saying prayers for myself and also for the people in New York. I didn't know what had happened in Pennsylvania or at the Pentagon at this time.
I went in for surgery and I of course I was knocked out and I think I was in recovery when I had this weird dream. I have not really shared this with anyone but now I'm sharing it with you…It was basically I was in a big white room and it was a chaotic there was a whole bunch of people trying to figure out what happened and to figure out where to go. I remember there was a playback of the towers crashing and it was from the perspective of someone that was in the room. It was like we were in the tower. There was screaming and crying and then as the tower crashed we were pulled and saw it from the outside then it was quiet. It kind of reminded me of the destruction of Alderaan from Star Wars when it was destroyed there was a disruption in the force. During my dream I realized that all the people around me were the people that lost their lives that day and we were like in a waiting area in heaven before going through the "pearly gates." Then nurse was there waking me up. I was kind of unnerved by my dream and never shared it because I always felt was a little silly.
The next few days the only thing that was on TV was the news. I remember it all being surreal. I don't know if it was from the pain pills and feeling off kilter after being under anesthesia but when the news banners go across the bottom of the TV screen they made me nauseous and to this day I still get queasy when I see them. Another thing I remember was how quiet it was outside. We live close by an Army and Air Force Base and they planes and helicopters were not flying. You get used to hearing aircraft as background noise but when it gone you only hear the birds.
As a person living on the west coast at that time I didn't know anyone that was personally in New York, Washington DC, or Pennsylvania so I feel like I was a bit removed from what the survivors and community were going through. My heart did and does go out to them. I can't imagine how it would be to have a loved one die that day or live with post-traumatic stress from the events.
It's hard for me to watch or hear stories about 9/11 because as an emphatic person my heart hearts. I cry and sob. Friday when I was coming home from work listening to talk radio and hearing stories about the children that lost a parent. I almost had to pull over because my eyes were all teared up and I could barely see. When I watched the movie Remember Me, I knew it had something to do with 9/11 but I thought it was set after the events that happened that day. When I realized at the end of the movie that day was 9/11/2001. I remember saying out loud in the movie theater "Oh No!" I sobbed in the theater and on the way home I couldn't talk about the movie because my heart hurt for all of the families of 9/11.
Living in a military community, we have been personality affected by the outcome of the events on 9/11 with the war on terror. I have had friends that have had multiple deployments. I have seen how it affects their families. The hardest part was when my good friend Capt. Cory Jenkins was killed in Afghanistan. I am thankful that there are so many people that are willing to serve in the Armed Forces to help keep the freedom that we enjoy as Americans.
I hope today being the 10 year anniversary we can honor the people that lost their lives. Thank the people that serve the public to keep us safe. Most of all tell your family and friends you love them.