Easton Residents Recall Where They Were on 9/11
"You're always going to remember it."
Ricardo Sonny of Easton was talking to his mother on the phone as he headed to class at New York University in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001.
His mother worked two blocks away from the World Trade Center and suddenly told her son something startling: "A plane just hit the tower."
As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks takes place Sunday, city residents and workers and college students recalled where they were on the day the nation was traumatized by terrorists a decade ago.
"The city was covered in smoke and fire," Sonny said. "It was just amazing how New York City was shut down. You had to walk across a bridge to leave it. Everything just came to a standstill."
Julie Horn of Nazareth, who works at Mothers in downtown Easton as a waitress, was sitting in her 6th grade English class when the attacks happened.
"Everything in the school just stopped," Horn said. "Teachers put the television on. A prayer was said over the loud speaker. They then told us what they knew."
Madeleine Polcari, 19, a sophomore at Lafayette College, was worried about her uncles -- who both worked in New York City.
"My Dad was freaking out because he couldn't get in contact with them," she said.
Polcari said both were fine but had some close calls: One uncle who worked near the towers ran away from the rubble while the other, who happened to work on the 52nd floor of one tower, just happened to have a meeting away from the building that day.
Polcari recalls being a 4th grader at Wellington Elementary School outside of Boston and her teacher crying.
"We didn't know why," Polcari said. "I found out from my mother later that afternoon. All the parents were quiet after school. We couldn't play on the playground. It was very weird. They explained that the towers were gone later on."
Another Lafayette student, freshman Sharon Chen was living in South Africa at the time.
"We weren't really into current events," the 18-year-old Tenafly, N.J., resident said. "My parents said something happened in America and that it would be going to war with another country."
Now Chen understands the impact.
"I understand the American sentiment," she said. "I do understand this really big thing and this hurt."
Sonny is pleased that New York City has recovered. But he's upset that the camaraderie and human kindness have faded away a bit since the days when the Big Apple was reaching out to everybody.
"New York City has bounced back," he said. "It's returned to the hustle and bustle. The city is back in business."
For Horn, the attacks are something that will stick with her for the end of time.
"It's a big eye opener," she said. "You're always going to remember it."