Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11

Today is a day for remembering. For reminiscing. For being grateful and thankful for what we have.

I'm sure we all remember exactly what we did on 9/11/2001. We remember where we were when we heard of the terrorist attacks on our country. Some of us probably remember the smells, sights, temperatures, and textures of that day; those things tend to stick with us when we experience tragic events. And even though most of us experienced that day via television, it was tragic for all of us and none of us remained untouched.

My memories of that day start on 9/10. For some reason I remember how great life felt. I had only been married a month. The weather was beautiful-cooler that the summer, but not too cool yet. It was sunny and crisp, much like it was the morning of 9/11. I was living in Chicago and my dad was in town for a convention. He picked me up for lunch and we ate at my favorite Thai restaurant. It was just a really nice day.

The morning of 9/11 started out like any other. I remember getting to work around 7:45am CST, right around the time that the 1st plane hit the North Tower. Since I was no longer in my car, I didn't hear the first reports of what was happening. I went into my office and got ready for an 8am meeting that I had with my coworkers and some people with Moody Radio.

When I got to the meeting, the people from Moody Radio said that they couldn't stay long because of the plane that hit the WTC. We were all confused about it and I think we all were picturing a small Cessna or something like that. Our meeting didn't go well- we were working to plan a meet and greet for an artist who was coming to the Book Store. But no one at the record label would pick up their phones. We finally got ahold of someone and asked where everyone was. She said that no one was at their desks-they were all crammed around whatever tv's they could find and were watching the stuff in NY. At this point, we still didn't understand the magnitude of what was happening. Since we weren't get any plans made in our meeting, we decided we would leave at try again later. When we left my boss' office, I noticed that the office next to his was crowded with people. I crammed myself in there as well, wanting to see what was going on.

My boss had a tv in that office and I could not believe what I was seeing. By this point, the second tower had been hit and they were both burning. About 5 minutes after I started watching, the first tower fell. As I stood there watching the tower fall, I knew in my heart that things would never be the same. I knew that this would be the event that my children asked me about, much like I asked my parents about the assassination of JFK. I found myself unable to hold back the tears- tears for the people that were losing their lives in that moment. Tears for the families that were losing their loved ones. Tears for the innocence that was gone from my life, tears for the worry that we would go to war, tears for the fear that my new husband would be sent off to fight for our freedom. Tears of fear of what was to come.

A few minutes later, someone came and told us to go to the book store and look outside. What I saw was amazing- the streets were full of people! Since there were still some planes unaccounted for, all of the tall buildings in Chicago were evacuating. The subway and bus system could keep up with an entire city trying to leave the downtown area. The streets were filled with people walking, just trying to find a way out of town.

The rest of the day seems a little blurry. I remember talking to my husband and wanting to be reunited with him. Since I worked at a college campus, they had turned the student center into an information hub for the students to be able to know what was going on. Employees and students alike, filled the center and crowded around tv's, hoping to catch a glimpse. The dorms were closed because they said if the Sears Tower went down, parts of it would land on our campus, and they didn't want to put anyone at risk. About 1pm they shut the whole campus down and let the employees go home.

That night our church had a special prayer meeting for the victims and their families. And since then, our country has remembered the victims on the anniversary of this horrible day. After 5 years, the memories are a bit faded in my mind. It kind of seems like a bad dream. But as I watched the ceremonies at ground zero this morning, I found myself with tears in my eyes again. For the families of the victims, the memories are still fresh. Maybe not as gut-wrenching, but still very painful. So today I just feel grateful to God for what He's given me. My family and friends, and safety thus far. I am so thankful, and I will never forget.

1 comment:

pandacanup said...

I won't ever forget that day either. It was so insane to think that AMERICA was being attacked on its own soil. I thought it was a mistake at first--the second plane made things more clear. I can't imagine what it was like to be in Chicago. We were in the booming metropolis of Woodstock!! Love you guys,