About a week after 9/11/2001, Rabbi Frand gave his usual annual Teshuva Drasha shiur. In it, he described how when major events happen, everyone seems to remember the exact location they were when they first heard the news. How true.
I was driving towards Baltimore’s Penn Station, giving a 9th grader from Ner Yisrael a ride to the train station so that he could go to his grandmother’s funeral, to take place in New York. As I was driving down the on-ramp to get onto 83-Southbound, the cellphone rang. My father, who was in Virginia at the time, called to tell me to turn on the radio ASAP, as a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. Like many people, I thought that it was one of those small Cessna-type of airplanes, and that it wasn’t the end of the world. After all, a military bomber airplane had hit the Empire State Building in 1945, resulting in the death of only 14 people. How bad could it be? But after getting off the 83 at the exit for Penn Station, news of the second plane arrived, and right away, everyone in the car knew that these were acts of terror. Thankfully, the 9th grader didn’t take the train to New York, as they later shut down the entire line. Unfortunately, in the ensuing chaos in New York, the original funeral procession became separated from everyone else, and it took about two days for the family to track down the body and give it a proper burial.
Today, I spent a good part of the day watching the streaming video from CNN as things unfolded five years ago. It was and still is a very emotional filled day, and its hard not to tear up as you hear the reporters themselves become emotional in their reporting of that day.
May we know only good things in the future, and may the upcoming new year bring only good news.