Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?

The tragedy fell out of the clear blue sky. It's always there in stories of that day, what a beautiful day it was.

You remember that, don't you?

I was in my second week training with Building Blocks. First thing in the morning we had a meeting at the office and as I was leaving I heard one of the supervisors say, "all the top floors are on fire," but it meant nothing to me until we got to the first house and I heard from the mother that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

As I drove to the next house, I listened to the radio in stunned disbelief. We (I was following a veteran BB employee) were pretty amazed and rattled at the next visit; they had the television on and were good friends with the family of one of the pilots of one of the planes. If I remember correctly, they had us leave early so they could be with their friends on their farm.

Our last house also had the television on, and at that point there was a lot of confusion and speculation. I still didn't have a clear picture of what had happened and when; I knew I was not able to call Craig and so wanted to be home with him and hold him (we were married not quite a year then). The fear of what had happened and the uncertainty of what might happen next really distilled for me what was important: my family. I was unspeakably grateful that I had the prospect of going home to him when I knew so many were in shock and only beginning their grieving.

I can't believe it was ten years ago. My life was in such a radically different place then; we were newlyweds and were not even thinking about children. Although I wasn't touched personally (or even once-removed, as in, knowing someone who knew someone who died) by the tragedy, I feel a quiet, hollow place of grief for what happened that day. In an "America the Beautiful" book we have, there's a picture of the WTC site as it was at the end of the day on September 11, 2001.

who more than self their country loved

and mercy more than life

I get choked up trying to explain what it is to my children; we haven't yet gotten into the bigger aspects of what it represents, what impact it had on America, why we take off our shoes in airports. But it will be part of our conversations, not just today but as time goes on. It is so important to remember.

Ten Years. A Decade. Where were you?

(I thought I had set this up to auto post yesterday. Did you watch the memorials? I think the new memorial at Ground Zero is a lovely commemoration.)

1 comment:

  1. I was sitting at my desk at work and Eric called and said a plan crashed into the WTC. I said something like, "Oh, wow, that must be bad." I assumed it was a bad accident at that point. Moments later there was lots of hustle and bustle outside my cubicle. My dad called me and said to meet in the cafeteria. It was all over the TVs and by now the second plane hit. Everyone in Lucent was glued in shock to the news. At home that day I just remember watching more of the news and having to shut it off because of the grief-stricken feeling that was coming over me. They showed people jumping from the building. How bad was it that jumping was the better option? I was becoming physically sick. I was newly pregnant and questioning why I was going to bring an innocent child into this corrupt world. It was hard. I was scared. I cried. It changed me even though I wasn't directly effected. I cannot imagine, even ten years later, how the families are dealing with this tragedy. I did watch the memorial, cried, and did some explaining to Taylar. It's tough. I think we hugged a little harder and longer that day.