It was an ordinary morning at the office. It was Corpus Christi, Texas on September 11, 2001. I was at the office seeing patients with the doctor I worked with. There was a television in the office waiting room. I am a surgical technologist working for an Orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine surgery. There wasn’t a lot different I remember about that morning. It was my mother’s birthday. Shortly after seeing several patients it happened. The doctor I worked for was not a Texan, he was from New York. We gathered in the waiting room watching the television. News reports about a plane that had hit a building in New York City. There was smoke, chaos, panic, people running, and all we could do was watch and watch and watch some more. Dr. Masciale was on the phone, checking with family, unable to see patients, as news unfolded of events. Then another plane and another building. More chaos and more panic. I called my mother on the phone. When she answered I remember hesitating and then saying, “Hello, Happy Birthday?” There was a question in my sentence.
In the weeks to come it was difficult to proceed as normal in the office. The doctor wore a New York Yankees baseball hat with his white lab coat to work every day. He talked about nothing else. He wanted to paint a memorial in the office on the wall for the victims. I understood it was a difficult time for him being from New York.
This was September 11th in my life. It has meant many things to me over the years. It was not as dramatic as some peoples, thank God, but very important to me. Everyone will remember their story of where they were that dreadful day in America. What was yours?