Friday, September 11, 2009

Do You Remember Where You Were?

I do. 

I had my head buried in my headphones working since early in the morning...not a clue in the world. My friend, L, called me and asked me if I had been watching the news? I never watch the news. Why? She told me to just go turn the TV on. They were replaying the first plane hitting the tower and saying that they were trying to figure what kind of commercial airliner had hit the tower. A 767 maybe. My ex had upgraded to that plane...and he was in New York. Was it his airline? The kids and I watched with no word...the emergency number into his airline was not answering. The kids went to school. And I waited to hear. Watching. Horrified.

Then the second crash. To this day, I remember the feeling. Standing up and rushing to the TV. What had I just witnessed? The chilling feeling that started at my head and ran through my whole body. And then the towers started to fall. 

I was frantic. Where was he? Finally. A call comes in from the wife of the captain he was with saying, yes, they were in New York, but they were fine. I notified the kids their daddy was okay. When I finally spoke to him, he said that he knew the numbers they initially thought might have been in the towers when they fell would be too high. He said people were fleeing as fast as they could from the burning buildings. As I remember, the original numbers were in the tens of thousands.

They were just outside the blast area. They spent many days stranded in New York. No traffic. Hardly anybody moving around. Except emergency vehicles. 

He has a letter from the hotel talking about what they were doing for anybody still at their hotel because of what had happened. 

I remember reading a Dave Barry column soon after it happened and a phrase he used has stuck with me. They did not care who we were...they killed us "Just for Being Americans."  

It is a column worth reading again today.


KC said...

So glad your husband was safe, but so sad for everyone else that wasn't.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Everyday, I watched the news in the morning. Or at least had it on in the background while getting the baby ready for the babysitter and me getting ready for the lab.

That day, I didn't turn it on, for some reason.

Bob and Tom had to tell me about what happened.

Jeanne said...

I was at home, getting the kids ready for school. I couldn't believe it when we saw the second plane hit. It was so surreal. What a terrible day it was. The kids were so young they didn't get it and wondered why I watched TV all day. I talked to my English friend Deb that day and tried to put into words how weird it was for American soil to be attacked so and she immediately got her hackles up saying that people from every nation were killed. I couldn't seem to get through to her how it felt to be American and have this happen, simultaneously getting an earful of how the rest of the world (or at least, she) saw it. It was eye opening for me.

@eloh said...

I called a friend and told her to turn the television on then hung up. I had to reach out to the world outside my home, to prove to myself I wasn't dreaming.

MaryRC said...

wow you had a stake so close to the action. i was so far away and i cant forget. have a great day.

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

Jeanne, I just read an article that said that to most young kids, 10 to 12 or so, this is their JFK assassination...a defining moment in their lives. It was written by Peggy Noonan if you can find it. Your friend must have seriously gone off the deep end that day. They attacked America...not people from every nation. They could have crashed into the UN for that.

@eloh...It felt like a dream for days. It was strange to me to realize how many people around the world celebrated or said we had it coming. was a surreal day for everyone. The video in this post still gives me chills.

@mjenks...How odd that you did not turn on the news that day. It must have been strange going into work and not knowing what was going on.

@kc...yes, I was glad my ex was safe and weird to hear his stories in the days afterwards.

Jennifer said...

Wow your post gave me goosebumps, as did the link to Dave Barry's article. Thanks for sharing with us, I'd never seen that before. I'm glad your loved ones were safe that day.