Thursday, September 11, 2008

In the Blink of an Eye...9/11/01

9/11 It seems like only yesterday that September 11th only had the meaning of the day after September 10th and day before September 12th. 7 years ago - that changed forever. I was getting ready for work when the first plane hit. Either I had a cd playing or it was silent. I think I was staying at my parents house because I was between living in my apt and living in my newly purchased under renovation condo. I think Jen and I officially moved in to the apt the week after 9/11. When I got in the car I had the radio on and it took me a few minutes into my 15 minute commute to determine what had happened. The radio djs were in shock and were talking but talking as if listeners had been tuning in all along. I got to work and tried to get on some internet site to figure out but there was so much traffic that cnn was full. We didn't have tvs, but tried to listen on the radio. I have family in DC. After they announced about the Pentagon - I called my aunt. My uncle was a former Capitol Hill Officer, and my cousin was an active Capitol Hill Officer. I thought one of my other cousins worked down in the same general area. My aunt and uncle had just gotten back in town the night before. He was at the Dentist and she was doing laundry. No TV/Radio on....When I called and asked how everyone was doing - she thought it was just an every day question...she was trying to figure out why I called...if maybe there was something wrong with Grandma. I explained that I had called because a plane just crashed into the Pentagon and wanted to make sure that everyone was safe. Her response was classic..."My Pentagon?" A few more details and she wanted to make sure the line was clear for her girls to call. She later told me it was good that I called because they were so upset when they called that she would not have been able to figure out what was going on. They were evacuating all the large cities. I just kept wondering if the planes they were trying to ground were taken hostage too and if they were planning on crashing them into each major city around the country. It was such a vulnerable feeling.

My parents were over in Hawaii on vacation. Because of the time difference - they were in bed. They ended up having to stay a few days longer in Hawaii because the planes were grounded. Now it may seem dreamy to have a forced extended vacation - but when something like this happens and your kids are freaking out and you are an ocean's not too relaxing.

I went to a prayer meeting at my church that night. The next few days were so surreal. No planes in the sky. No one talked of anything else. I was glued to my TV. Trying to figure out who this Osama person was that they kept talking about. Astonished. Horrified. Devestated.

I remember feeling unsafe in my own country for the first time ever. Sure you feel a little iffy if you are in a bad neighborhood or see a scary movie - but this - was a living nightmare. What if they came back? How had they gotten here? Why? Where and how would they strike next? Is our water safe? Is the mail safe? Will we fly again?

As the years have gone by - I have met a few people who were directly impacted by 9/11. When I had my QuikDrop franchise - one of the fellow owners in NY had lost a brother and maybe a cousin (I can't remember). Her husband was one of the NYC cops...

I guess every generation has things that are forever transfixed in your mind. My parents generation had Kennedy, my grandparents generation had Pearl Harbor, - 9/11 is ours.

7 years later - have we really changed all that much? We've gone to war. We've done some good there. But do we really feel safer here? Not really. Is there imminent danger - probably not - but just as we all saw 7 years ago - things can change in the blink of an eye.

We need to make the most of the time we have here. The time with our loved ones.

We have not forgotten.
Though our stories are different - we are all the same - we are friends, we are family, we are Americans. We are human beings. We are all in this together.

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