I stayed home Friday. After having it out with my insurance company over the phone, I broke down and decided that I needed a day off — a “mental health day” as my mother likes to call it. I had been vaguely aware of the date, but honestly I’ve been too busy with work and other things to allow myself to fully fixate and quite honestly part of me didn’t want to remember.
In truth, I didn’t want to feel it at all — any of it. Anger, fear, sadness, outrage, … I’m an empathetic sponge who wanted the whole world to go away and stop reminding me of that horrible day. But I knew I would have to face it sooner or later.
Well I’m doing better this week, and am still trying to catch up on my feeds. I’ve sat and cried to every 9-11 related thing posted on all my favorite sites. Jules at Everyday Mommy asked the question that I’m sure many of us do when this topic comes up in conversation: Where were you?
I remember that morning very clearly. I was at work. It’s not too far from where I’m working now in fact. It was a slow morning, so I had hopped onto IRC and was happily chatting in several of my favorite channels. Someone announced in #phrozencrew that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. I jumped onto the CNN website because they had live streams on their site, so I could watch the TV feed in realtime.
“Surely it was a mistake,” I remember thinking. “No one would do such a thing on purpose.”
I had just tuned in when the second plane had hit. As tears streamed down my face, I couldn’t believe my eyes. One was a mistake. Two was on purpose. The crash on the Pentagon soon followed. Someone was attacking us. Someone wanted to send us a message. It came through loud and clear. All those innocent people! Who would do such a thing? It would be hours later before we all knew for sure.
At that moment, my mind shifted to loved ones who I knew were in New York that day. One friend, a teacher at NYU, who I knew was located near the Towers couldn’t be reached. Another, who I knew for certain worked in the WTC, and I couldn’t reach either. A handful of other friends I knew were in the area, but not sure of where exactly they were located. I spent a good part of the morning frantically dialing and emailing anyone and everyone I could think of, all the while watching the atrocities unfold live, right before my very eyes. I remember hearing coworkers trying to reach their loved ones. One woman I knew was desperately trying to page her daughter, who was in flight somewhere over the East Coast.
At this point no one could concentrate on work. A TV was rolled into the breakroom and we all huddled around it. We all watched in horror when each tower collapsed, then reports of another plane crash (Flight 93) flashed across the screen. The rest of the day was spent in complete shock. I don’t remember anything else about that week, just that day. As a people, we all embraced and pulled together as one. This was not just a tragedy for New York, it was a tragedy for us all. We were ALL affected.
What worries me is that there is a large number of people now who seem to have forgotten what happened on that day. That number multiplies exponentially with each passing anniversary. Why has complacency set in?
I can’t be complacent. I can’t help but feel, and remember. I remember the horrors — seeing people jump to their deaths over and over again, the heroes that raced in to help who were never seen again, the bodies pulled from the rubble, the agony of the poor souls still looking for lost loved ones. I remember everything. I still have the nightmares. And every September 11th, I must mentally and emotionally go back there and re-live everything all over again …
… Because to forget would be the greatest tragedy of all.
Well said. It also reminds us to live and to love a little more, to honor them all.
I was safely at home listening to a sports/talk program on a Montgomery radio station when the guys announced that a plane had hit one of the twin towers. I turned on the TV to follow the story. As soon as the second tower was struck I knew we were under attack by some unknown enemy. Thatâ€™s when panic set in. I knew that our older daughter was in Chicago for a business meeting with the company she worked for, Discover Card. I knew Discover Card had been started by Sears. I feared that the meeting might be taking place in the Sears Tower, and that it could be on the target list. Like so many others, we found it impossible to get through to her by phone, so we sat in a state of fear and dread as we watched the rest of the morningâ€™s events unfold on TV.
As it turned out the meeting wasnâ€™t in the Sears Tower which wasnâ€™t a target after all. But it was hours before she was able to contact her husband in Georgia and he was able to get through to us to let us know she was safe, but stranded in Chicago because all flights had been grounded. She rented a car and drove home, but the direction of her life changed that day. She decided it was more important to be alive and with her family than to be flying all around the country on business trips, so she resigned a very lucrative position and started her own small business (http://www.extremecabinetmakeover.com/) that she operates from home. Remembering 9/11 still sends shivers up my spine.
Richard @ Transformer Costume.org
I was working, doing renovation in a summer job. I remember hearing about it on the radio, but the magnitude of it didn’t register at all. I thought it was a radio play or something!
I was in Germany at that time and it was on tv all over the place. It was a scary time and which I will never forget.