What do YOU remember? When I think of 9-11, the first thing I think of is -- deep, eerie silence........ Let me explain.....
September 11, 2001 started like any normal day at our home. My husband was downstairs working in his home office; my kids were up, getting ready to start our schoolwork -- just a typical day in a homeschooling household. My mother called from Florida just before 9 AM to say, "Have you been watching the news? The World Trade Center was just hit by a plane!" My father used to work in the WTC; he knew people there; I had visited him in his office there; this felt very personal. I ran downstairs to turn on the TV and sat watching in disbelief at the scene I found -- and then I remember the horror I felt as I saw another plane crash into the second tower. And the silence of having no words to express what I was thinking and feeling....
I remember my kids crowded onto the sofa around me and trying to make sense of what was happening. My husband was a manager for AT&T at the time, and an emergency conference call was immediately set up with managers on the East Coast, so he went back to his office. I went to his office from time to time to give him an update of what was happening on the TV. I remember screaming, "The tower collapsed!", and as he relayed the info to the others on the conference call, the immediate stunned silence -- the first of many moments of silence that day.
I remember continuing to watch the news; the station I was watching put up a smaller frame in the corner of the screen, showing another area with flames and smoke coming up. One of the broadcasters said, "Is that Central Park?" and I remember thinking, "No, that's somewhere here in Washington -- I've seen that before." And learning later that it was the Pentagon -- again, silence. What could be said?
And then the news of the plane crash in Shanksville, PA -- I stared at the TV, aghast. What was happening?
Sometime in the mid-afternoon, I left the basement and went outside onto my deck. I needed to get away from those awful images, clear my head, process what was happening. Where I live, halfway between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD is a very busy metropolitan area. A major railroad track runs behind our neighborhood; our house is in the flight path to BWI Airport; several major highways are close to our house. But that day, when I stepped outside, all that was heard was -- silence. The railroad had been shut down; the airplanes were grounded; almost no cars on the road; just -- silence. An eerie quiet that I will never forget.
Those are MY memories of 9-11 -- what are yours?
9-11 -- may we never forget.