Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Remember

I will never forget this day, six years ago. This day changed my life in a profound and prominent way. Before 9/11/01 I didn't know the difference between Palestine and Pakistan. I probably wouldn't have had any idea how to find Afghanistan on a map. I had never heard the name Osama bin Laden or the term Jihad.

I was carpooling at the time and was just getting ready to turn the TV off to pick up my carpool person when they announced that a plane had hit the world trade center. From the pictures on TV it looked like maybe a small commuter plane and I thought that someone was going to be in big trouble for mechanical failure or medical issues.

We listened to our regular country station on the way to work. As we neared the parking garage we heard the announcement that a second plane had hit. And then I knew it was no accident. It was war.

In my cube I logged in to the internet and tried finding as much information as I could. It wasn't enough. I finally remembered that our floor had several TVs hanging from the ceiling (we watch a lot of MSNBC ... and M's games!) so I ran over and turned it on. Several associates joined me and we watched...we watched as people jumped - willing to crash to the ground rather than burn to death.

We watched as the first tower fell. I was in shock. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what to do. I think I sat down on some boxes outside someone's office. When the second tower fell I don't know what I said. A coworker said, 'No they're just replaying the first tower falling.' I think I said 'I don't think so...I think the other one fell." But I didn't want to argue with him since he is a high up associate. I was right, unfortunately. The shock was a bit too much for me. I only vaguely remember the rest of the day.

My company is global and we have an office in New York. Thank God no one was hurt and no one was in a meeting at WTC. The night before several associates had been there. Another associate was on the phone with someone who was in WTC...and who didn't make it. We had many contacts in the financial world who worked there and who never went home.

I went home early. And I slept. That's how I escape things. I was overloaded. Overwhelmed. It's hard for me to deal with such huge emotions. Anger. Shock. Outrage. Dispair. So I slept. And when I woke up I tried desperately to find a TV channel that wasn't dedicated to the day's events. I wanted to escape. I didn't want to see what had happened again.

It's been six years and when I woke up this morning the news was playing their broadcast from that same day. I changed it after they played the video of the "falling man". :( God bless that person and his family. I didn't need to see it again. It is an image that has never left my head. I changed the channel this morning to reruns on Nickelodean. I think they SHOULD play the videos and audio. I think America needs to see it and remember - because too many have forgotten. I'll never forget, and I can't deal with seeing it again. I'm a completely different person today than I was on 9/10/01. A better person.

God bless our Troops. God bless our Police Officers and Firemen. God Bless our hardworking men and women in the FBI and CIA who do a thankless and difficult job to keep us safe. Remember that this big thing we call "government" is made of human beings who are not perfect. God bless them all and give them strength and wisdom.

1 comment:

T.S. said...

I was nine months pregnant when that happened. The day my son was born was the first day we bombed Pakistan. I can remember sitting in my hospital room, holding my newborn son in my arms and wondering if we'd done the right thing; both in the actions we'd taken as a country and in the basic fact that my husband and I had brought another child into this world.

And then I remembered how I'd sat there all morning on Sept. 11th and watched the news...how could we not? We knew that our fellow firefighters and police were in those buildings, and we knew that they had probably not made it out.

CNN aired a piece of video taken by a doctor who had gone back to the scene immediately after the collapse to see if he could help any of the victims. It was like the day of a first snowfall; everything blanketed in a coating of dust so thick it made everything white. It was also eerily quiet...except for one thing. The sound of PASS devices ringing...hundreds of them.

I knew, watching and listening to that video what that signified; firefighters who were lying under all of that ruble.

So on the day my son was born, when I was trying to decide if we had made the right choice I thought back to that moment and realized something; even though what happened that day proved that there was evil in the world, it also proved that there was good. Out of those ashes came stories of strangers who risked their lives for others, of people whom I would have never known who made the ultimate sacrifice.