What was I Doing at that Moment on 9-11-01
As I Remember that Moment in History
I remember it well. I had just poured my first cup of coffee and started to read "The Akron Beacon Journal." I had the TV on in the background. The morning news show was talking about how they were going to show the new "Spider-man" movie trailer. I really wasn't paying attention since I was reading the morning paper. Suddenly I hear the about the first Tower being hit. I lowered my Beacon Journal just as the video is playing. I has thinking, "Wow! the announcer is a very convincing actor, and the cinemagraphy is very realistic too. Maybe this is going to be one kick ass movie after-all." Just then the "live" banner was in the corner of the TV screen. The announcer's voice had a desparate, yet excited tone. Just then in frame was the second airliner, I was thinking, "Ok, any second now Spidey will..." Then at that very moment, that moment of impacted, I realized that this is no movie trailer and I am witnessing something I would have never imagined could happen in America.
So many thoughts ran through my head, but little emotion. Then the stories started to roll in the Pentagon attack, the crash of now infomous "Flight 23."
Then I remembered that my sister and brother-in-law, who were on there way to Windsor, Canada for a little birthday fun and gambling, are about in the New York area at that time. I tried to call...the cellphone lines are jammed. Then my thoughts jumped to a girl, whom we had just broken off our relationship, had just left the day before to start her career as a psychologist in Washington D.C. My heart was sinking! The thought of possible family and friends in the middle of this situation and there was absolutely nothing I could do. Then my mind jumped to a cousin who work for Meryl Lynch which was located in the World Trade Center's second tower.
Then of course the calls, start Mom & Dad, My dad was recon in the Marines, and as cool as a cucumber, my Mom on the other hand is just a little left of "Chicken Little" (if Chicken Little was fully caffinated and had the power of Catholic guilt.) So, I talked mom down a bit, then start talking to "Pops", we started talk about how all this could have came about, and who could have planned this "under the radar." I came to the conclusion that it wasn't too "under the radar" and chances are that the government dropped the ball. Of course, my father, being the military strategist that he is...Figures that we should just go over bomb the Middle East until the Sand turns to glass and then "Let God sort it out." (thank God he doesn't handle humanitarian aid).
I remember walking the dog that morning after being witness to such devastation, and think how uncharacteristicly beautiful of a day it was in Akron. The perfect wheather, a little warmer than normal, the soft breeze, and how strangely quiet it all was. Very little traffic, no "urban static" at all, the world seemed to have stopped. There was a calm outside, but I knew indoors for many people, it was quite tha opposite.
Later, in the day we all finally heard from my sister, She said that they actually left for Windsor much earlier and were in Canada before the first strike had happened. But her and her husband were going to be unable to come home right away since the borders were closed. At least there was peace of mind on that issue.
I had also had heard from the former girlfriend. She was OK. It seems she had decide to visit with her family in Northeastern Ohio for a few days before driving to D.C. Naturally those plans would be still delayed a couple more days. At least (even though broken hearted from the relationship) I felt a bit more relieved.
The cousin who worked in the World Trade Center a few days later sent an incredible letter about her experience of that day.
Meryl Lynch (if memory serves) was on the 65th floor of the second tower that was attacked. She said they could hear a see the impact of the first jet airliner. With that her and a group of co-workers thought leaving the building would be good idea. They decided to take the stairwell. As desending down the stairs security and a fireman told them they would be much safer up in their offices. Some did turn around and go back up. She and some others went ahead and kept going down the stairwell. She and a friend were out the door and about half a block away when the second plane hit. They ran...and didn't stop...until.
They were still running and had reach SoHo by the time the mighty towers fell. Numb, exhausted and in disbelief, they walked around with many others. Somehow they ended up by the bridge (which like all the ways in & out were)and they just sat there...scared, numb, unsure. Until a gentleman in a pick-up truck came along and offered to give them a ride to their homes or to some place safe. Of course they accepted the kindness. He had some food and water with him, which he gladly offered to everyone he picked up and helped that evening. This guy had been out most of the day offering rides, food, and water to countless people. As were many others that day.
I remember much of the saddness of that day and the days that followed, but I remember something more. I remember a sense of pride, hope, and a belief in humanity that I thought had long past.
I remember people buying extra food, clothing, blankets and other useful items, not for themselves, but to give to relief efforts. I remember people donating blood, and cheering on the police, fire, and other rescue units. I remember for one brief moment people were holding doors open for little old ladies and watching out for there neighbors. People for one brief moment had pride in themselves and their country. Everyone was pulling and work together. There was harmony, and unity. I remember how I was proud to be alive to witness people going out of their way and stepping out of their pathetic little lives to help each other. I remember feeling sad, because I knew this would never last.