During the summer approaching my senior year in college, I was interning in New York City and living at Pace University. It was a group of 30 students coming from all over the states to explore and experience New York City and work in the financial district. Interning at Merrill Lynch, we were also required to take classes at Pace University and the World Trade Center. Along with the classes, we were scheduled every week to attend musicals and plays and visit museums and restaurants.
After 5pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, I can still recall taking the subway to the World Trade Center and weaving my way through the people and observing the shops and restaurants in the center. It was the highlight of my summer to push the elevator button to the 41st floor and being able to appreciate the view of the city while in class.
On my way home to California, I booked a flight with United Airlines. The sky was slightly overcast when I left to Newark International Airport. However, it was nothing unusual since the weather changes constantly in the east coast. When I checked in and sat by my gate, there was an announcement that the flight was no longer taking off at 8pm and it will be delayed till the next morning along with the other flight. Hearing the news, I was disappointed because I wanted to get back home. At the same time, I understood because United Airlines mentioned they were experiencing technical difficulties. My mind was prepared in waiting till the next morning, but five hours later, United Airlines decided to send the LA flight home. We were on standby for awhile, but we eventually took off.
When I landed in LA and picked up my bags, I turned on my phone and checked my messages. Calling my mom immediately, she mentioned how my whole family in Vietnam were worried that I was on United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark International Airport to San Francisco International Airport. Speechless, I turned on the news from my car stereo to discover what occurred.
It was difficult for me to absorb...the date, the timing and the people around me at the gate, who actually flew United Airlines Flight 93. Today, my prayers are sent to those affected by 9/11.