Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yes, I Remember

Seven years ago today I was on my way to work. The sky was a dreamy blue with well-placed cottony clouds here and there. I was bopping in my car to a fun song on the radio, sipping on my coffee, and despite not being a morning person, I was already having a great day. Suddenly the announcers broke in to the middle of the song to inform us that a commercial plane had hit the Twin Towers in New York. Huh. That's odd. How low did that plane have to be flying in order to hit one of the towers? What a horrible accident. I said a little prayer for the people on the plane and in the building.

I continued on my way and arrived at the bank a few minutes later. As soon as I walked up to the back door of the bank I disarmed the alarm and began prepping the tellers, setting up the windows, and opening my office as usual. I went to the back room and turned on the oldies radio station for some calm mood music for the customers. I opened the vault and went back in to my office, turned on my computer, and then went out to the windows and threw my cash drawer in just in case we got busy. Just as I was locking my drawer the radio announcer told us that another plane had crashed into the other tower. I stood frozen to my spot. The hair on my arms stood up in full alert knowing now what I had not even thought about before. This was no accident.

The tellers, my manager, and I all rushed to the break room to turn on the television. What we saw was beyond. Beyond what I had imagined. Beyond what I ever could imagine. We stood there staring at the TV, speechless.

The rest of the day was much of the same. Though we tried to continue on with our work the only words we spoke were about the terrible, frightening events of the day. As more news came to us about another plane hitting the Pentagon, and then the collapse of the towers, it started to feel like the end of the world. I almost expected to look outside and see alien spacecrafts raining down from the sky. It was absolutely unreal.

Time seemed to stand still. Only a few clients ventured into the bank making the day even more surreal. Each one looked pale and dazed. Some had stories of loved ones they were trying to reach in D.C. or New York. Some just had no words at all. Emails were sent around to verify the whereabouts of those we knew were in the danger zone. My best friend emailed me to tell me she couldn't get in touch with her brother who was a police officer in Arlington. The president of the bank sent a mass email letting us know that the group of our coworkers who had been in New York for meetings were safe.

That evening when I climbed the steps to our tiny apartment and saw Todd sitting in the living room a wave of relief washed over me. I knew he was only 20 minutes away from me all day, and that he was obviously safe, but I still had such a nervous feeling. I felt as though the rug could get pulled out from underneath me at any moment. That on a day like that day anything could happen.

We sat glued to the TV all night and cried. We cried for the people experiencing this tragedy first hand. We cried for the people searching for their loved ones. We cried for our nation. We cried out of fear. We cried out of anger. And we cried for the people who live in countries where events like these are not unusual. It was hard to stop crying.

I will not forget what happened on September 11, 2001. I will not forget how many lost their lives. I will not forget the heroes that emerged from that tragedy. I will not forget how we held each other up as a nation. I will not forget how dangerous this world can really be. I will not forget how strong the human spirit is. And I will not forget those who continue to fight for our safety and our freedom.

Today and every day I will remember.

39 comments:

LarryG said...

you are so right.
and this will not be forgotten.
prayers for all.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

yes, that day is burned in my memory!

Munchkins and Music said...

Everyone will remember where they were when they listened to that news. Thank you for your post and my heart goes out to those people who lost loved ones.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

We all remember exactly where we were on Sept. 11th. For me, it followed the first night my husband and I left our son in the hopsital alone after his surgery -- he was doing SO WELL that we decided to come home together for just one night to see the rest of the kids. I'll never forget the terror of being separated as a family and learning all of this.

I continue to pray today for everyone affected by this event ... worldwide. The whole world really changed that day.

Mom24 said...

That's so beautiful. This Sept. 11 is affecting me more than they have in a while. I think it's because I've had to explain it to Jacob, and that's really, really hard.

maggies mind said...

My day was similar. I was watching coverage of the first plane striking the towers when the other came from the side of the screen to hit the other, and we all knew the world had changed. I spent the rest of the day at work and caught the rest of the day on the radio as it unfolded. Surreal is about right. It still is beyond what my mind can grasp. Thank you for sharing this, Kathryn.

I wrote a tribute last year to Jean D Roger, a 24 year old flight attendant on that first flight, a woman with the most incredible smile and who just seems so darn nice and good, like so many of the 2,996 we lost that day. (2,996! people with hopes and dreams and hobbies who just woke up that day expecting they'd still be alive that night.) Anyway, I re-posted Jean's story today because I have not forgotten, even if I never knew her.

Don Mills Diva said...

I will never forget it either or the many days that followed that had me glued to the tv, drinking red wine and weeping...horrible, horrible days.

morton said...

7 years has gone by, and I still remember almost every detail of that day.

Wendy said...

I did a similar post today...I don't think any of us will ever forget. And there's something almost cathartic about sharing our stories, a kind of affirmation among fellow Americans that we won't forget. Ever. Those who lost their lives that day and their families deserve to be remembered.

Krystyn said...

I don't think it's possible to ever forget what we were doing and where we were.

I was working out at the gym on the elliptical and I couldn't leave. I ran home and turned the tv on, then went to class, where we turned on the tv, and then the prof sent us home; where we all called everybody we knew to see what was going on.

God bless the families hurt by these terrorists and our soldiers fighting.

Dawn said...

That was such a horrible day...I won't forget either.

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

Thanks for all of your sweet comments. I love having you over for a visit.

This is a beautiful post. Crazy that it has already been 7 years, huh?

abritdifferent said...

What a beautiful, fitting tribute to such a horrible, horrific day.

Molly's Mom said...

Beautifully stated. Amen.

Kelly said...

Beautifully written. I remember that day so vividly also. It was horrific and so sad.

Hilary said...

"And we cried for the people who live in countries where events like these are not unusual."

Beautifully written, Kathryn. Yours is one of the only posts I've read so far that has considered how it is for so many around the world at any given time.

Lisa said...

Beautiful post.

The horror of that day can still feel so fresh, can't it.

MamaGeek said...

Me too. I will never. ever. forget.

Karen Deborah said...

well done, well said. AMEN

Karen said...

I too, will never forget. You wrote so many of the feelings in my heart today. Thank you.

Brittany said...

Today is so surreal, for everyone, I think. Just so surreal. I still find myself shaken and crying over the tragedy, and remembering the fear I felt that day. Amazing how things can change in such a small amount of time. So scary.

Robyn said...

It was like time was standing still.

Tammy said...

Very nice post about that day. I will never forget where I was and what I felt that entire day.

wheelsonthebus said...

It's odd how we all assumed it was an accident, isn't it?

Fire Hunt said...

I will never ever forget that day.

Kellan said...

I remember nearly every minute of that horrible day - we will never forget! It still makes me cry!

Take care - Kellan

Dianna said...

:(

krissy said...

I enjoy reading how everyone remembers this tragic day. For all of us, we have a story to tell.

And what amazes me is that we are all so different. But for this very moment, most Americans hearts were heavy at the very same time.

I remember...I will always remember.

Roxy Wishum said...

Amen. Well said.

Tam said...

this day forever altered each of us personally and our Nation!

lime said...

we cannot forget and must not. it's indelibly etched on my mind.

Candy said...

yes.

definitely.

I will always remember to remember.

EatPlayLove said...

My husband and I stayed up until 1 am watching history channel coverage last night. All those feelings rush back in a moment.

Thanks for sharing, we truly can never forget, ever.

Lindsey said...

I was a brand-new freshman in college...I had to experience all of it in a different state from my family, and feeling like the world was caving in on me. That fear was something I'll never forget.

Elaine A. said...

Reading this gave me chills. Your day was similar to mine. I also heard it on the radio on the way into work and because I worked at the World Trade Center in Dallas we evacuated around 10 a.m. CST.

I spent the day numb, crying and praying. No, we will never forget, nor should we.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I came, I read and then I went awsy? That's not like me. I was having serious server problems yesterday and apparently my comments didn't take. This was a really wonderful post, I am glad you posted it. My Sept 11th tribute is sitting in my drafts folder, I just didn't publish it for some reason.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Yes, we do remember. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

My dad was on a plane to LA at the time. His flight was grounded in Chicago after the second tower was hit. My friend's brother had narrowly escaped his 90th floor office in the second tower, and managed to get everyone from his company out before the collapse, but she was unable to reach him because all the phone lines were tied up. I still can't watch movies or documentaries about it.

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