My husband is a Sgt. with the County Sheriff’s Dept. here in California, so I am not unfamiliar with the phone ringing at an odd hour and having dispatch ask for him. But this time, instead of ‘someone called in sick, I have to go cover’, or even the dreaded ‘officer involved shooting’…he simply said, ‘Terrorists crashed planes into the Twin Towers, we’re at war’. After asking some questions just to try and wrap my brain around what he said, I jumped up and turned on the TV. As soon as I did, the phone rang again, it was my mother in law, she told me to turn on the tv…and I told her Tom had to go to work…then my son called. Jeremy was only 17 then, and working at a local faith based counselling center, he’d arrived at work and no one was there, he’d already heard the news on the radio on his way in, and called home to ask me what he should do. I told him, just come home, he could call in later.
I went in to wake up my girls, who were 13 and 16, I told them that history was happening, and to come see the reports on tv and to start praying. We did too…we watched in horror as the incidents were played and replayed, and we prayed and prayed. Just as the footage showed the buildings start to collapse, my son was home, and the phone rang again…I don’t even remember who it was, someone asking if we’d seen the news and if Tom was going to work…I got off quickly as my kids responded in shock at what we saw on our tv. Especially the images of people the people falling.
I still get that sick, panicked, helpless feeling when I see the images replayed on news reports and special interest stories. But what gets me the most is, like today, while watching a movie, to see the Twin Towers standing as background scenery. The movie today was “AI”, set in the future, and the Towers were still standing, like silent sentries representing that which can stand the test of time and the elements! Unfortunately, no one had any idea that it would take so little to bring them down!
My son told me that the sad story line of the fictional video would make me cry…but it was those buildings that brought the tears. All I could think of was, what if someone like me, unsuspectingly watched that video, and saw those Towers…what if I was the mother or wife or daughter of a lost loved one in those now gone buildings? How hard it must be for those people. I’m sure they will always come across reminders like that. My heart goes out to all those who were touched far more deeply than I, those whoses loved ones perished, those who know the first names of real life heroes…and my prayers are with them.