Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

That day is seared into our memory. Many of us remember almost everything about that day.
For me, it was a normal, warm early fall day here in DC. I rushed around in the morning. I was running late (like I am today). I must have ran out to my car and back into the apartment three times. Something was out of place and I couldn't figure out what it was. Maybe it was some connection to the 'spiritual' world or old instincts we humans have surpressed. My subconcious knew something was going to happen and it wasn't going to be good.
At 8:30, I was on the road - - the hijackers were boarding planes with their unsuspecting victims. People in New York were already busy with their day. I was running late, willing myself to get through the crush of traffic on I-66 heading east so that I could make it to Bethesda (where I worked at the time) by 9 a.m.
As I rounded the corner to pull into the parking garage to our building in Bethesda, I heard the breaking news, a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. My first thoughts, the thoughts of all Americans, probably, that this was some kind of terrible accident. By the time I had gotten upstairs to the office, everyone was standing around the cube of co-worker who had a radio.
"Hey, you guys, a plane hit the World Trade Center in New York." I said.
"Another plane just hit the other World Trade Center building," a co-worker replied. We all realized that it was no accident. We were stunned. We all stood in the hall listening. Then the Pentagon was hit. Silently, urgently we all returned to our desks and started calling our families, our friends, people we knew who worked at the Pentagon or near-by.
My sister who was working in Rossilyn, very near the Pentagon, e-mailed me. She couldn't get through on the phone lines. "If you can, call mom and dad and tell them I am o.k."
I have the string of e-mails we exchanged over a half hour span of time before she and her co-workers decided to walk to someone's home who lived near their office.
As I write this, remembering, tears still swell up in my eyes. I really was worried about my sister. There were so many rumors we were hearing in the news and from friends we had reached on the phone or via e-mail.
Our bosses came through the office and told us that if we wanted to go home we could. Everyone wanted to go home. You wanted to be with friends, family or in a familiar place.
The drive home on the beltway was like something out of a movie. We were living the evacuation scene from Independance Day. Amazingly, everyone was curtiteous. No road rage. We were all in the same boat. We were all in the same shock and just wanted to get home in one piece.
Below is a photo of the TV and Radio antenna that had been on top of the World Trade Center. In the background are front pages of the news papers from 9/12. This is at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
There is a movie interviewing journalists who covered the events that day along with the footage they had taken. I couldn't watch long because it made me cry.
I think the childlike thing that I have never understood, and still have a hard time understanding is, why to other people hate us, the United States, Americans? Why would they do this to us? Why were there some people so happy and celebrating that this happened to us? The US is the country everyone tries to come to. The US always seems to be helping, wants to help, feels its our responsiblity to help because we've been blessed with plenty.
I can't believe its been 8 years.
May the the loss of that day not be forgotten. May the lives lost that day and since, not be forgotten. May we, as a nation remain vigilant so this doesn't happen again.

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