Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Wasn't Going To

It was a beautiful day here that day. All the descriptions you've read of the bright blue sky and crisp air are true. It wasn't a day you'd expect such horror, but when would you?

I wasn't going to write about the events of this day six years ago, because I wrestle with many of the actions that have been taken since in the name of that ghastly day. I had to write about it though upon reading many of the thoughtful posts featured in that little box of wonderful posts in the left column of this space.

Because we must remember.

September 11, 2001. I doubt there is a person in this country who doesn't know where they were when they found out about the attack.

I was in my office, exceptionally early for me, going through email when a co-worker came in to tell me about a plane hitting the Twin Towers. We assumed it was an accident as most others did I believe. Our company didn't have a TV so we sought one out in a neighboring office on our floor and sat down just as the second airplane hit. At that moment, we knew this was no accident.

As we sat there, the phone rang and the woman whose TV we were watching took a call from a friend. Her friend was calling to tell her that his wife had just called and she was on the plane that hit the Pentagon.

Immediately, we went up to the roof of our building to see the smoke rising from the Pentagon just miles away. It was so surreal--the beautiful day, the plumes of black smoke and the silence. Our building was in the flight path for National Airport and yet it was silent--until the fighter jets screamed across the sky. Seeing fighter jets fly that low over the nation's capital is something I never want to see again. To this day, if I hear a jet (typically from Andrews AFB) fly low over head, a surge of panic freezes me in my spot.

I was pregnant on that day. I had just found out and only my husband knew. That fact prevented me from truly experiencing all that was happening around me. I called my mother and tried to reassure her that I was safe. I wanted to say, "it's okay I'm pregnant!" I knew that would stop her tears, but I couldn't. Secretly, I was worrying about the world that was going to exist for my child. Would it ever be the same?

Now that baby is five years old and he runs and he laughs and he plays baseball and he doesn't yet know about that terrible day. And each day on my way to work, I drive by the side of the Pentagon that was destroyed. Never do I pass that spot without looking to the right at where the building was hit and to the left from where I imagine the plane must have come. Never do I forget the people who died there.

I wasn't going to write about this, because I didn't lose anyone that day. But, many people did. And, I will never forget.

18 Deserve Mamma's Love:

Peg said...

I can't imagine driving by that spot every day...

Thank you for sharing this, Mamma.

canape said...

I think we have a hard time describing the loss we all felt that day when that loss wasn't a particular person.

We lost something far less tangible. Confidence. Innocence. Faith. There are dozens more. It's probably a different intangible for everyone.

~JJ! said...

I still look for the towers in the skyline when I drive over the bridges here...It's different and it always will be.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Mamma, we all lost something precious that day, something very much akin to innocence.

I put my flag out yesterday morning, and then The Poo and I sat on the porch for awhile. A plane split the clear blue sky with its white tail, and I told her how one day not very long ago, that had become a strange sight.

And how I hope for her, it will always be commonplace. Because for me, it will always hold a small piece of death.

Kristin said...

I can't imagine what it would have been like to have been in the city on that day... thank you for sharing your experience.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Thanks for sharing your story.

I think being pregnant then would have added to how scary the day was.

Cathy said...

I had just called my mom to tell her about the towers when the Pentagon was hit. That moment and many others remain vivid, even years later.

QT said...

Thanks for writing this. It is still fresh in my mind, I still remember the feeling as the reports came swirling in that it wasn't, couldn't be, real.

Paige Jennifer said...

Writing about is good. It gets out what's inside and with regard to this day, will resonate with probably every American. Nicely put, Mamma.

Lawyer Mama said...

I can't drive by it without thinking of it too. I will always see a crater with smoke rising from it, no matter how long it's been.

Pinks & Blues said...

Wonderful and moving post. We lived in NYC pre and post, it still makes me physically emotional to go downtown. Thanks for sharing this.
- Audrey

Girl said...

Agreed, moving post. Left me wordless.

Shannon said...

You brought tears to my eyes. Having lost someone in the towers, I think I stuggle with the memories more (or at least differently) then the others around me. I was so mad yesterday when there wasn't a single person in my office who even acknowledged the anniversary. I feel if so many are starting to forget.

jessabean said...

I too thought it was weird that not a single person at work mentioned the date yesterday. I'm on the yellow/blue line so I ride past the Pentagon every day and it's impossible not to think about it...

Gina said...

Thank you for the reminder. I wasn't so brave but I'm so glad some are. You're right, we must remember.

Christine said...

I found out I was pregnant just a week or so before the attacks too and I had the very same thought. What am I bringing a baby in to?

My mom lived in Jersey and worked in New York most of my life. Thankfully, she was living in London in 2001. But in 2003 she was back, living in Jersey City with a fantastic view of Manhattan. Only the view was so different without the Twin Towers. The events of that day and the lives that were lost...it's just so sad.

Jill said...

It's such a shared experience. Everyone remembers just what they were doing, how beautiful the day was, the sense of surreal horror.

We were in NYC on Labor Day 2001 and have this dorky touristy picture of us with the Twin Towers in the background. There we are smiling, the husband, me with a pregnant belly just starting to pop and our two grinning older sons. What a difference a week made.

Gunfighter said...

I drove past the impact point (about 50 yards away) at the Pentagon about 3 hours before the attack.