Saturday, September 11, 2010

A day to remember

September 11th. 9-11. A day most of the world will never forget.

I was at work. In my office. I started hearing talk of a big plane crash in New York. I got on the Internet. Saw what had happened to the first plane and the World Trade Center tower. Listened to the newscasters. They said it may have been terrorism.

I called my boyfriend (now my husband). He was still asleep, sick that day. I told him to turn on the television. As he watched, we saw the second plane hit. We knew at that moment, this was no ordinary plane crash.

There was talk of more planes. One hit the Pentagon. One later crashed in a field. All air traffic was grounded. No one knew what was going on. Or, maybe we did know. But we were still in too much shock to admit it.

I called my parents. They had been out. Didn't know what I was talking about. I told them to turn on the TV. They gasped. No one could believe what they were seeing.

Some Atlanta-area buildings were closed. At that time, I worked in a building called the Financial Center, similar to the World Trade Center. It's unique in that a highway actually runs underneath it. We were told to go home.

For the rest of that day, the immediate people in my life were with me. We were glued to the television. Never have I, before or since, watched anything for 12 hours straight. We could not pull away.

September 11th, 2001 was a terrifying and heartbreaking day for our country. About three thousand people lost their lives. Heroes who entered the chaos to help save others. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. Someone's children.

I'm sure some happy things occurred that day. I'm sure babies were born to ecstatic parents. Maybe some couples got married. Some students somewhere aced a big test. A teenager may have gotten his/her first car. Mine was just a regular day, until I visited around 8-something in the morning to see what the talk was about. Then I did nothing. Just watched and felt numb.

I know we'll always remember what happened to us on that day. I will also never forget the feeling of the next day - September 12th. I drove into work at the usual time. American flags had popped up in yards overnight. Car rear windshields now sported flag stickers. People in Atlanta rush-hour traffic were nicer. Not driving rudely or erratically. Not in a big hurry. We were all just cruising our way down the interstates, going to work and school, making sure life would go on. By doing so, we made sure the bad guys didn't win.
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