Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Remember

I just finished reading Freddie’s recount of that day... And thought I’d like to get my memories down before the sands of time wear them to a nearly unperceivable dream. Like an old coin, nearly worn smooth. You still know it is a nickel, or quarter but the details are gone.

Just as I was walking into work Larry asked me if I had heard about the plane that crashed into the WTC. My mind flashed to a single engine Cessna hitting the tower(s). Some little plane that would do some damage and besides the pilot there would be no deaths.

“Where did you here that?”, I asked.

Larry said “Bob and Tom”.

heh “yeah, right”

Shit heads, I thought. Bob and Tom are doing some War Of The Worlds spoof. Guess they got you Larry, I was still thinking.

I went to my cube and started my day, doing things. At some point I was at the copier and realized there was a small group of people standing in one of the execs offices (he had a TV) watching something. I headed that way expecting a cooking show, or some morning news show with semi-nude pole dancers. Before I could enter the office Carolyn came out with her hand over her mouth, visibly shaken and crying.

OMG... as I stepped in they were showing a close up of the first tower on fire. I stood there in complete disbelief.

Then... right... there... before my God damned eyes, the second plane hit the second tower. WTF!!!

I don’t remember how long I stood there. I do know I didn’t get much work done. I saw President Bush interrupt the book reading in Florida. I heard there was a helicopter crash at the Pentagon and later learned it was the 3rd plane.

Then the 4th plane... I’m from Pennsylvania. It hit about 100 miles from where I grew up.

Somewhere in that haze of crashes, death and the news announcements. I realized this was cross intercontinental planes being used as weapons.

September of 2001 my brother was employed by US Airways. He was on a flight crew with US Airways. He almost always did the Charlotte to Los Angeles flight, intercontinental...

I called him... voice mail.

The news is talking about other planes and more possible attacks. All planes are landing. The FFA has grounded all flights

I called him... voice mail.

I called my mom. My parents are simple folk. My mom could easily go weeks with out seeing TV. I knew she had not heard about any of this when I talked to her. I tried to explain it to her and convey the gravity of the situation. She didn’t get it. Not when I talked to her. We hung up with her promising if she heard from Ian that she’d call me right away.

I called him... voice mail.

At home that evening I, like many, watched the news non stop. I don’t remember eating dinner. I had to know why and, if it was what we thought, just what the hell were we going to do about it!

About 10 hours after reality hit me in the head with a 2x4, Ian called. He had been in route to LA. They had been diverted to New Orleans and spent 6 or 7 hours in the plane waiting for a security check every person and to get them cleared. They had landed under fighter escort. He was going to be stuck in New Orleans until the airline decide to bring him home.

In the days that followed, I remember looking up into a bright blue crystal clear sky and seeing nothing, hearing nothing, no con-trails, no planes. There are always con-trails, it was eerie.

I wanted to go to NYC so bad, I would have gone to NYC to help. I so wanted to help. To do anything...

I flew a flag on my car window until I could no longer find them at the store. Had to be close to 3 years. The flag had polished a 8”-9” arc on the roof of my car. Now a days I fly a 3x4 flag on the bike.

I will not forget.

4 comments:

CavMom said...

Gosh DNR ~ I read your post and the pain seeped right back into my heart.

Thank you so much for sharing your day, your memories of 'the Day the World Stopped Spinning' with us.

If the terrorist think we are weak and that we have forgotten, they only need to read thru the posts.

We Will NEVER Forget!

CavMom said...

I forgot to ask... Do you mind if I add you to my blog roll?

Jan said...

dnr..I think this is one of the most touching recounts of that day that I have read on here.

I'm really glad your brother was safe that day...what horror you must have gone through, not knowing.

ARTEMIS said...

Wow. I know the terror I felt just as a parent and teh unknown of what else might happen, I can't imagine what it must have been like to not know if a family was on one of those planes...

Your heart and strength continually amaze me.