Everyone has their story of when and where they were during the tragic event that shocked the world--September 11, 2001. Well, I just thought I would share with you our story, or at least from my perspective.
However, let me backtrack a little further. We were actually in New York City that Labor Day Weekend, which landed on September 1st and 2nd. We were in town because we were performing at a club in Times Squares. It was called The World at the time, but it's no longer there. It's been replaced by the Hard Rock Cafe. Anyway, it was the first time seeing the "Big Apple" for all of us, if I'm not mistaken. So naturally, it was exciting!
The day after the performance, we finally had some time to do tourist stuff. We roamed the streets. What did we do? Eat, walk, eat, buy some thing, and eat. Oh and we saw the Naked Cowboy. If you're not familiar with who he is, he is literally a naked cowboy. And apparently, he's some mainstay local attraction. At one point, we decided to split up on two's and three's. Eric and Rodney walked around, while Ian, JP, and I chose to go sightseeing towards MTV TRL. And guess who we saw this time? We met Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park/Fort Minor. He was in town for the VMA's. His girlfriend was so nice, she even offered to take our picture with him. And of course, we took her up on her offer right away. I can go on and on about the many different places we went to in NYC, such as the Empire State Building or Central Park. hehe. However, there was too many things to name. We definitely experienced the beauty of New York City. But little did we know that it would be the first and last time we would see the World Trade Center, even if it were from a distance. We loved New York and met some great friends of whom I still keep in touch with from time to time. Hi Annie! Hi Elaine. (If you're reading this, I hope you don't mind that Annie received an "!" LOL)
Then we had to fly back to Chicago. We ended up staying at our friend Glenn's house for a few days.
Early in the morning of the 11th, my dad kept calling to ask whether we were still in New York. Did I pick up? No. I was knocked out (yes, I admit... out of the five of us, I'm the one that's always sleeping). I kept hearing the other guys saying something about two planes crashing into a building. That definitely woke me up. I woke up and saw it on tv, thinking to myself, "We were just there." I called my dad back to let my family know we were already in Chicago. My family sure was relieved. We were also concerned for the friends we made, but they were okay as well.
The next day, we went with our friend Charles to watch WWE live in Milwaukee, cause we were flying out of Milwaukee and to head home to Orange County. When we arrived at the airport, we find out that no flights were going out because of heightened security. What?! So we had to get a hotel... err... I lied. It was more of a motel. Hehe. The next day, we were ready to head home and went back to the airport. All flights were still cancelled. We had to spend the night at the airport that evening. It was crazy, because so many people were sleeping on the chairs. There were reporters walking around to interview people. A local journalist asked us a few questions. We got to have our five minutes of fame. LOL.
The next day, we waited. And then we waited some more. Eric and I ended up going to the airport bookstore to get something to read. He decided to pick up Catcher in the Rye, 'cause it was supposedly his favorite book, I ended up getting the first Harry Potter just to see what the fuss was about. I'm real sorry to any Harry Potter fans, but I didn't see what was so great about it. We wanted to go home already! And guess what? Our prayers were answered. We had a flight, but it was even better. It was going to John Wayne Airport instead of LAX. What that meant was that it was only a 10 minute drive home, rather than the 45 min drive from LAX.
September 11, 2001 was something that we can never forget. It had taught me a lesson to go and see the world. Cherish the people you meet. They may not be there tomorrow. Oh and before I go, I'm not sure if you knew this, but our song "So Wonderful" was originally released as part of a benefit cd called "Operation Ground Hero." It was an album that featured "So Wonderful," along with other songs by different Asian-American recording artists. Some of its proceeds went to help rebuild and heal the city of New York.