Monday, September 11, 2006

I was going to post a 9/11 thing...

I was going to mention how as I flew into Reagan International on Saturday, 09/08/01, I stared down at the Pentagon in awe and thought about how it was the core of our nation's defense.

How on Tuesday morning, I watched GMA as the second plane hit the World Trade Center as I was frantically trying to get packed and check out of my hotel and get to the office for our 9:30 meeting.

How we drove by the Pentagon minutes before it was hit. And how we sat on the interstate a few hours later, staring at the destruction as we started the journey back to Tennessee.

I was going to talk about how frustrating it was to be in DC, flipping through the channels trying to get an idea of what was going on and all the news coverage was on New York.

How I decided not to evacuate to the underground parking garage at our office building, because I'd rather not get trapped under all the rubble should our building be hit. If I was going down, I wanted it to be quick, not after hours of suffering.

I was going to mention how terrified my mother must have been when she called our office here in Nashville to get transferred to DC where she begged me to "be safe" and to find a church where I could pray.

How eerie it was after the last plane was downed, standing in the middle of the streets in downtown DC, with all the church bells playing patriotic songs.

I was going to talk about how scared I was to get on the Metro to go pick up my suitcase from the Bellman at the hotel. How all I could smell when I got off the Metro at the Pentagon City stop was burning fuel. And how I was the only non-medical person on the train back into the city.

How fortunate I was to be travelling with someone who had a rental car. How we drove for hours that Tuesday afternoon, listening to the same stories repeated over and over on NPR.

How we got to the Logan's somewhere around Bristol just in time for the President's speech, and checked into our hotel where we joined all the other travellers in the bar.

I do believe the state-enforced last call was ignored that night.

How I was dropped off in the parking lot at the airport Wednesday afternoon, and the attendant stared at me with her jaw slack as she totaled my parking fees. How grateful I was that there weren't news crews waiting to tell the stories of weary travellers making their way home. How all I wanted to do was go home and lock myself in.

It took me a couple of weeks to get over my shell-shock. Right about the time I decided to TURN THE TV OFF and STOP SEARCHING THE INTERNET for more information. Right about the time I decided I had to put it behind me and move on.

We all lost something on that September day, whether it was a loved one or a little bit of our innocence.

We all have our memory of where we were when the planes hit, how we found out about it, or what we thought when it happened.

We can only hope that the tragedy of 9/11 will remain one of the worst memories Americans have. That it won't be overshadowed by other senseless acts of hatred.

I was going to post a 9/11 thing, but thought there was no way I could put into words everything that needs to be said.

But then I realized that my words combined with everyone else's might be a good start.

My heart goes out to everyone.


peach said...

It's hard to believe that was five years ago. I'll never foget Bill waking me up and me getting to the tv in the kitchen to see the second tower hit. Bill had a tv production gig that day and I was so scared for him trying to get out of the city and to his destination on a plane. I guess every generation has their historic moments (our parent's had the assasinations of MLK, JFK and RFK). Our grandparent's had Pearl Harbor. Our's is 9/11...

Lindasis said...

I, too, can't believe that it's already been 5 years. I can still recall the entire day as clearly as last week.

And I can't believe you were in the middle of it there in DC.

Bobby said...

I've just come up for air, having immersed myself in 9/11 coverage for several days. Maybe it was that there was more out there, but this anniversary seemed more significant to me than some of the others. Maybe something magic with five years. Seems like a long time ago, but the memory is as clear as yesterday.

I’ve never talked much about my 9/11 experience, partly because while I definitely felt close to “the action” I didn’t feel entitled – I didn’t suffer losses like the loved ones of those in the Towers, the Pentagon or on Flight 93. I also got really sick of hearing people talk of their connection to events of that day because their third cousin’s old college roommate once worked on the 77th floor of Tower 1.

Maybe enough time has passed or I just needed you to point it out – we all lost something that day. No matter where we were, we are all connected to it. While connectedness is usually comforting, in this case it's just sad.

9/12 fan club president said...

What about a 9/12 Post? Why does 9/11 get all of the hype? Hey, we are still here, all of us 9/12 people...

Linda said...

It's not something I talk about often, and definitely not in detail... I didn't think I remembered much about those couple of days, but I could easily go back and expound.

I won't, of course.

To this day, I will not watch any television coverage related to the events surrounding 9/11.