Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day We'll Never Forget

Today started off with several friends reminiscing about where they were on 9/11. I'd love to hear your stories, too! Here is mine:

We were in a hotel in Ohio, getting ready to drive back home to the Chicago suburbs after visiting my Mom and sister in northern New Jersey. My hubby was down in the lobby while I was packing when he suddenly burst through door of our room, emphatically telling me to turn the tv on. I asked him which channel, and he said it wouldn't matter. Puzzled, I turned it on.

I cried when I saw the towers in flames. I'd been in the World Trade Center several times back in high school. Rows of lobby elevators vividly filled my memory, along with the thought of how many people must have rode up them, that morning. How utterly helpless and hopeless those innocent people must have felt! It was overwhelming to even try to imagine. And how very desperate were the many that leapt to their deaths from that height must have been!

Every ounce of me wanted to go back home to New Jersey and be with my family and friends. We had almost stayed there longer (we home-schooled, at the time) to help my sister with her three month old triplets, one whom was sick. I later learned my hubby waffled with going back to help at the site or at area hospitals. Having spent much time in Loyola University Medical Center's emergency room as a respiratory therapist, he was used to the blood and gore of inner city traumas.

It was really eerie driving the rest of the way home from Ohio. No planes in the air, which is so totally creepy to think about even now, especially when passing by larger cities. And every place we stopped (frequently with a 7, 5, and 3 year old!), everyone was going along daily routines automatically, quietly and in shock. If we weren't listening to the news on the radio, we too drove on in silence. It was surreal.

Once we got home, even before unpacking, I pulled out a photo album containing photos of the towers and the view from the top to show the kids what they looked like, before, and how high up it was from the busy streets below.

Back in my college years, my family watched a slideshow of the towers being built taken by a friend from his office, above the construction site. I had found it really interesting. Now, we had witnessed them collapsing.

My Mom, sister, and friends called to tell about all those they knew that were late for work that morning, and spared, as well as those that they heard were still missing. Shortly after, I got an email from a friend who worked on Wall St. Her subject title was "I'm Alive!", and described how she narrowly escaped death by diving under a truck and followed directions from people from storefronts, after the second tower collapsed. She was fortunate enough to be near a drugstore that was equipped to aid victims, who in turn assisted many others that came in for help.

It's scary to think that something like this ever happened in the US, but it's even scarier to think that it very well could happen again. The world for us Americans forever changed, that tragic morning. --LKR

1 comment:

Leza said...

This is from my friend Zebo, a very talented artist in Florida:

"i was actually on a plane on the tarmack in tampa GOING TO NEW YORK....for bunch of mural commisions...when it happened. fortunately, didn't take off yet or would have been one of those planes in the sky that landed anywhere.still had to get up to new york to paint, so finally got a plane up 10 days later. ny was eeiry....smelled.....still smoke very very sad. ...the city was strange. everyone was freaked out. not the nyc i knew... ."