My 9/11 Story, A Lot More Than ‘Some People Did Something’

It was months ago when Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar said, of the 9/11 attacks, that “some people did something” and this is my message to her.

As with many people, particularly those who lived close to the World Trade Center, I will never forget where I was on September 11, 2001.

I was 23 years old and was involved in real estate investing with my mother, Grace Sabia, when she was getting set to go to a closing with my brother.

I was laying on the couch in my living room, half asleep, when the first plane hit and my mom and I were both startled, as anyone would be.

But not because we knew an airplane had hit the towers, we had no idea. The television station we were watching, WNYW Fox 5, had gone off and became static.

It was around a minute later when it came back on the air with the image of a fire at the World Trade Center.

The World Trade Center was where the local television stations, in the days before it had to be digital, had their on air antennas.

They explained, when they came back on the air for the network’s flagship morning show “Good Day NY” that a single engine plane had hit one of the twin towers.

My mom was concerned about the people in the towers but I thought, no big deal as the firefighters will get them and they will be OK.

Should 9/11 be a national holiday?

For the next 15 minutes I watch, still half asleep, as my mom prepares for the closing when I see another airplane hit another tower.

I shout to my mom “It was no accident! Another plane hit the towers!” She rushes back to the living room to see what is happening.

She immediately grabs the phone and calls my brother to see where he is as he was on his way to our Northern, NJ home from Atlantic City.

She does not tell him what is going on but tells him to come straight to the house, but she knew there would be no closing that day.

The next phone calls are two my two sisters, one of whom has kids in school, and she tells them to get the kids and bring them home.


My sister is hesitant at first because the incident is happening in New York City, which is around 15 minutes from us and there is no reason to think we are in danger.

That is until 9:37 a.m. when Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon. That was when my other sister went to get the kids as she was closer to the school.

When she arrived there were dozens of parents getting their kids and we still had other family members to get.

I will not go into the other details of the day, of what we watched, of the people we witnessed, I have written about that before, but I will say that is was surreal.

To watch the towers fall from your window, the helplessness of knowing there is not a thing you could do to help, is something you never forget.

The wondering of how many more airplanes are in the sky, how many more attacks will happen, watching military aircraft above your home, is something you never forget.

Sitting by your television crying as you know that the toll these attacks must have taken in lives is something you never forget.

Watching the families of people who died in those towers walk around with photos of their family members asking if anyone had seen them when you knew that they had to be dead, is something you never forget.

It is something, as a New Yorker, that President Donald Trump has never forgotten, and it is why we were furious when Rep. Ilhan Omar said “some people did something.”

We know who did it and we know why they did it. And we will never forget.

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