I was in my car with my husband and son, we were on our way to work and school. My mother called to tell me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I was shocked but thought that there must have been a major mechanical breakdown. Then my mom gasped and said “Oh, my God. Was that what I thought?..another plane ran into the other tower.” I felt a sensation, like electricity, travel down my spine. Each muscle tensed and I straightened in my seat. I whispered “Oh my God, we are at war.” My husband was startled and I began to relay the information to him. As if in a fog, I told my mom “I love you” and ended our phone conversation. We continued on as if it were a normal day…dropped my son off at school, dropped my husband off at work and went to my office. It was anything but a normal day. I couldn’t concentrate and I quickly learned that no one else could either. I work in our state capital for a government office. Everyone was tense and after about two hours, we received orders to begin evacuation of our buildings. Slowly I made my way to pick up my son and then my husband. We went to my uncle’s home because it is close to where we work. We stayed with him, watching TV until late that night. The saddness was almost overwhelming. I cried…we all cried. I trembled, afraid for all of the people in the planes, in the buildings, in the United States, U.S. citizens traveling abroad, and for my sona and all of the children growing up now. On a spring trip to Chicago, my son, then only 4 years old, would not go to the top of the Sears tower and cried that bad guy would fly a plane into it. I haven’t lost that fear and that sorrow.
Everywhere I went after 9-11 felt like a ghost town. Although people were carrying on with their lives, they barely spoke to one snother and when they did speak, it was in a whisper. The grief was immense and the helplessness drained everyone. I wanted to go to New York, or Washington D.C., or Pennsylvania. I felt helpless and I wanted to help in any way that I could. I needed so badly to work up a sweat trying to help, as if the physical labor would help relieve the feelings of despair, helplessness and loss. Although I did not personally know anyone who lived through or parished in this tragedy. I felt connected to them. They were doing what I do everyday. Arriving at work, beginning their day, learning of the new projects that would start today and finishing up the projects left from yesterday.
My family and I all cry periodically, sometimes the pain feels just as real as it did then. Again, I find myself needing to connect with those souls that were lost, saved, escaped and witnessed this horrible event. I feel that I really missed getting to know some very special people.