Someone made the suggestion that in honor of the 10th anniversary of September 11, we bloggers consider writing about where we were on that fateful day. Most people have had conversations about it this month – amongst friends or family members – so I thought I would put my story out there. I don’t know how interesting it is, but it is nice to look back every now and then.

In 2001, I was still in high school – so I was very self-centered and didn’t think much about anything outside of my immediate circle of friends. On September 11th of that year, I believe my school had late start for some reason, because I was asleep when the news about the towers started. My mom came running into my bedroom to wake me up (very abruptly for a sleeping teenager) and she said, “Now, Melina, I have to tell you something and I don’t want you to worry because your dad is fine. Your dad is just fine so don’t worry about that…your dad is O.K.”

This made me more worried than anything – what was going on?

To provide some context, my dad has been a captain/pilot at American Airlines for nearly 30 years now, and in 2001, he frequently flew in and out of New York – on more than one of the affected routes. Now, I can sympathize that my mom must have been terrified watching the news and not knowing if my dad (who was out on a trip) was ok or not. Clearly, she didn’t want to wake my sister and I until she knew more firmly about my dad’s condition.

So when my mom said, “A plane has crashed into one of the Twin Towers.” I thought, “Ok…what are the Twin Towers?” Today, I can’t believe that I honestly hadn’t ever heard of them before that day.

When I went in to school, we watched the footage throughout classes during the day, talked about the impact, and several students met with counselors if they had friends or family that may have been impacted. It was about this time that the reality of the day set in. I really started to think about what it could have been like if my dad had been captaining one of those planes and how different my life could have been. I really feel for those families, but I can’t even imagine what that does to a person or their family. My heart goes out to them today while looking back.

So, that is my story. Where were you when the towers fell?

Melina Young

My name is Melina Young and I am the director of marketing at Verity Credit Union. I love everything to do with marketing, advertising, public relations and social media – especially all the research that goes into making a product or service really work for our members and making sure the right people hear about it. In addition to my time spent marketing, I have a blog and write about celiac disease, which I was diagnosed with in 2010. Basically, I can’t eat any of those foods we all love that are made with wheat, barley or rye.

I have also recently started running and completed my first 5k in 2011. Some people may not know that I used to do a lot of acting, dancing and singing in my life. I was in a Nike commercial with Gary Payton in junior high (if anyone ever finds the footage please send it my way!) and I used to compete as an opera singer in high school. I almost majored in musical theater in college, but I’m very glad with my decision to study marketing!

One Response

  1. Sasha says:

    Melina – I’m glad your dad was on a different route that morning. I can’t fathom how survivors of those lost must feel – both in the attacks, and in the subsequent wars.

    I too, was at a self-centered stage in my life. The thousands of miles between me and NYC, meant that I felt very disconnected from it. Time has a way of helping us grow, and I’m glad that who we were ten years ago is not who we are today. Thank you for sharing!

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