Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11th

Six years ago, our world changed forever.

I was in class at the University of Rhode Island. I left, stopped to get gas, and drove home in silence. The release mechanism on my radio face had broken over the weekend and I had dropped it off to be fixed on Monday. I made my lunch (grilled cheese, Italian wedding soup, milk, and pistachios) and sat down to watch Unsolved Mysteries. At 12:30 I shut off the TV and jumped into the shower to get ready for work as an assistant store manager at the mall. When I went to get dressed I realized my (now) husband had brought home someone else's clothes from the laundry mat. I called him, outraged, wondering what the hell I was going to wear. He was incredulous that I was even going to go to work. He asked if I had seen the news yet, saying, I don't think you're going to work today. I asked him if there had been a fire at the mall? Then I asked what channel to turn on. Any channel, every channel (except Lifetime apparently).

I was stunned at what I saw. In one moment that lasted a year I watched both towers collapse into rubble and saw an enormous hole in the Pentagon. I hung up and called my parents. My brother was enlisted in the Marines at the time & stationed in Japan. No, they hadn't heard from him and no, they didn't know where he was. Then I started the frantic phone calls to friends and family, I was lucky, everyone was safe. I later found out that a friend from college is alive today because her alarm clock malfunctioned. I called the store I worked at and found out we were closing for the day. We had a shop in tower one and apparently, the company president was in NYC that morning.

I spent the rest of the day in the office of the local movie theater with my best friend (also an assistant manager) watching the towers collapse over and over again, waiting for any bit of information about her fiance, who was enlisted in the Air Force.

In the months that followed my brother and a very close friend were both deployed to Iraq. My best friend moved her wedding up a full year and moved to California, where her new husband was now stationed. My brother has since left the Marines, but my friend is on his way back for the third time.

Where were you?

4 comments:

NH Knitting Mama said...

I was at work, listening to a tiny desk radio, and a snowy TV. Went directly to the local bank and donated money, called the Red Cross and sighed up to be a volunteer. All in one day.

Meg said...

I was at art school in Boston. I ran down to the lobby to grab some water and saw the first tower down and watched the second plane hit on a TV. I ran back to the room and told the class... they thought I was joking. The professor went to see for himself and came running back telling us to go home and not go out... aparantly Boston was on super high alert.

I'll never forget that day... 2 months later I transferred schools to be with my (now) husband. Life is too short, you know?

Lisa said...

I was on my way to work at at the hospital (Admin for COO). I cried as I listened to the radio reports and then I called my parents on my cell. My sister worked in the towers and I was distraught. They finally got in touch with her husband who said that she had gone to the Penn Station office instead of her normal office. What a relief. SHe lost co-workers and friends and our family was greatful for her boss calling an emergency meeting in another facility.

My brother was in the Navy and as a Chief was never allowed to tell his his whereabouts. He finally checked in and we were all more relived.

I have donated many items over the last six years to whatever organizations my sister deems appropriate, as she still works in the Financial District of the city and knows more than we do here in TX.

Life is short and fragile. Love Hard, Live Simple, and Laugh Often.

Miss Me said...

i was at work in halifax. my husband called to say that a plane had hit the world trade centre. my first thought was that he was joking - i hadn't heard anything. he explained that it was the halifax world trade centre, but new york. we watched the coverage on the television in our vice president's office... it was very surreal.
2 years ago while camping in maine, i met a lady whose husband had been in the towers at work when it happened. he got out but they would no longer fly nor consider leaving the united states. while i can understand that, in some small way, it felt like the terrorists had won.