I remember that day very well.
I was at work when my husband called me to say that a plane had just crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City.
I remember my office scrambling to get a radio on that would give us some information, any information on what was going on. I remember us hearing that moment when the second plane hit the towers.
I remember my desk phone ringing and it was a colleague up on a different floor speaking in a panicked tone. She was telling me information that was not yet on the news, as she received a phone call from her family member who worked at the Pittsburgh International Airport. She spoke about the Pentagon also having a plane crash into it and then she said that a plane was high jacked and crashed in Shanksville, PA.
I relayed this info to my boss and he just sat there stunned. He then told me to tell the Department that if anyone wanted to leave for the day that we could. He said that the uncertainty of what may occur for this day might make it difficult to leave the downtown area hours from now.
Then we heard the confirmation of the Pentagon crash and the Shanksville, PA crash on the radio. You could hear the controlled fear in the announcer's voice. A co-worker started crying. Her father was the highest-ranking civilian working in the Pentagon. She couldn't reach him by cellphone or by his office phone. She was terrified.
By the time I shut down my workstation and headed to my car to get my 2 year old Diva from daycare all cellphones were no longer working. I remember that seeming a bit surreal to me. I sat at a red light and looked to the sky thinking my God how could this happen in America.
I picked up my child at the daycare and the daycare had no idea what was happening. They obviously do not have the TV or radio on there. They hurried to get the TV on at that point.
When I got home, my baby played with her toys just happy to be home with her mommy. I sat glued to the TV watching the events unfold. It was all too real and very very sad for the loss of all those lives. I kept thinking what an awful, horrible, painful way to die. I hugged my daughter so many times that day, thinking that you just never know what could happen to you at any moment. Those folks in the Towers were just going to work, like any other ordinary day. I wonder how many had an argument with there kids or spouse that morning and left in a bad mood or how many left that morning thinking that this was going to be such a great day and they were looking forward to something or some event coming up. Sad, just too sad.
I remember over the next few days, sitting outside with Diva while she played thinking how eerily quiet it was without any airplanes in the sky. I remember at work how we had professors that were stranded at their conventions and were renting cars with strangers to drive home from several states away, since no one knew when the planes would be flying again.
Those were the days of a reality check for many people. We came together as a Nation then. Individuals stopped being so self-centered and started caring more for their fellow Americans. We were reminded of what made our beautiful country so great. We were reminded of the freedoms that we do have and how thankful we are to have them. We were reminded that we never wanted to lose these freedoms, not even for an instant.
Today I pray for those folks that lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I pray for their families too. I pray that we all never forget that day. I pray that we all remember that this is the greatest country in the world and we should never let our freedoms be taken away from us ever. We should always remember why so many immigrants come to this nation each and every day ~ ask them, they will tell you why they come here ~ freedom of choice. Freedom of choice whether it be to pray, to work, to have medical care, to be educated, or to become rich. All of these are available to us each and every day unlike individuals in other countries.
Let us never forget.