11 years ago today, the world drastically changed. It was hard for me to really understand what happened and why. It was a normal day of school, it was early in my fourth grade school year. We had been in class for a short amount of time, then, all of a sudden, another teacher came running into the class and asked my teacher to go into the hallway with her. It was around 9 a.m. I will never forget the look of utter shock on my teacher’s face when she re-entered the classroom. Maybe an hour later, my mom took me out of school. I remember asking her, “Did something bad happen, mom?” All she could muster was, “Yes, something bad happened.”
Now, we lived right outside of Philadelphia back then, so we knew nothing of what it was like for New Yorkers. However, when I moved into my dorm for freshman year, I became very good friends with two guys from Brooklyn. When the anniversary came around that year, I finally got a true taste of what that day was like from someone my own age. They both were in school, in Brooklyn, when the planes hit. They were both pooled from the classes and rushed home. They could see the smoke billowing from ground zero at their houses. As I know now, back on 9/11, there were so many rumors going around of more planes being hijacked, more planes hitting the WTC’s and even a bomb going off at Capital Hill. So, how could my mom really say to me exactly what happened.
Current Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau was the head coach of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs, which were making their franchise debut that year. The Monarchs were and still are the AHL affiliate for the Los Angeles Kings. Boudreau was scheduled to fly from Boston, Massachusetts to Los Angeles, California, on September 11th 2001, on United Airlines Flight 175. He had his ticket and was ready to fly. The week before the flight, Boudreau was alerted that Kings head coach Andy Murray wanted him and his assistant coach to fly to LA a day early, September 10th, for a pre-training camp meeting with all of the coaches.
So, Boudreau flew out to LA on September 10th. The next morning, he received a phone call from his wife. She told him to turn on the television, it was around 6 a.m. pacific time. He saw what was tragically happening. When he arrived at the rink, he finally found out that one of the planes that crashed into the WTC was the plane he was supposed to be on at that time, Flight 175. He had two very good friends and colleagues on that flight. In fact, he had just went to a wedding with one of them.
There are countless stories like the one of Bruce Boudreau. Stories of people who had chosen to take a different flight or take a day off. But, unfortunately, there are stories of people who were just going through their every day routine and had their lives cut short.
I don’t know anyone who was in either of the WTC’s. I guess I can say I’m one of the lucky few to not be directly effected by the tragedy. As I look back now and read more into what exactly happened, I still can’t really understand why that happened. There’s never any reason for someone or a group of people to partake in evil acts of terrorism like those on 9/11.
I don’t know if we, as a people, can ever truly move on from those events. All we can do is to live our lives the best we can to honor those who lost their lives that day and all those who have lost their lives in service to this great country.