Monday, September 11, 2006
Day of Despair
The flawless blue sky portended a typical gorgeous warm September day in Oklahoma. Dressed to reflect the balmy weather, I hopped in the GP only to realize I had forgotten my cell phone. Oh well. This was the first time in the two years I had possessed one that this had ever happened, but no biggie. At approximately 8:30 am CST, one of our comp techs at the time, “J,” and I discussed the upcoming work orders for the day when “B” burst in from the library. While listening to the car radio coming to work he had heard a plane had hit the World Trade Center. “J” and I digested this unusual information as I thought to myself, ‘How can a little plane not see a massive building right in front of it?’ Or maybe the pilot had a heart attack and had wandered into skyscraper territory?' Details were sketchy and he and “J” left my office. Quite soon thereafter the unthinkable was declared and my office watched helplessly from my boss’ TV as events unfolded before our astonished eyes. Now two planes had hit the towers and numbly we stared at the flickering screen. No. NO! OMG NOOOOOOO!!! American planes with innocent Americans aboard, and innocent people unimaginably dying in the twin towers. A chill ran through me when the newsman announced the fact that hijacked commercial jets were employed. I remember asking the gathered audience if anyone had read Tom Clancy. One of his realistic novels (I don’t recall which) had eerily used the same technique as a flying weapon to hit the White House, but it was an almost empty plane. Surely these didn’t have innocent passengers aboard? The horrible truth unfolded in front of our unbelieving eyes as coworkers silently stumbled their way in to gaze transfixed at the informative rectangle showing unbelievable footage. Ordinary work proved impossible and our understanding president released us at noon. I remember pumping gas at the gas station and running a few quick errands before the long surreal journey home. And once home the televised images sprang to life and remained constant far into the night and for approximately a week as I cried. And cried. And noisily sobbed my breaking heart out for them, for us, for America, for everyone. Learning of the catastrophic disaster that changed our blissfully ignorant, comfortable, naive lives forever. 9/11.
We pause. We reflect. We remember. *bows head in tearful, respectful silence*