I was driving to work on what seemed to be a very normal day, listening to the radio. I was listening to DC101, their DJ, Elliott was a bit of an ass at times, and I couldn’t believe how low he had sunk when I heard him telling some story of a plane hitting the first tower. Within seconds I could tell by the sound of his voice that this was no joke. I remember thinking to myself, turn on WTOP (all talk), but I couldn’t take my ears off the sound of his voice. In an instant he had become compltely sincere, I knew he was seeing what was happening and re-telling it to his listeners, and I knew it was big. I continued on my way to work, a 50 mi. drive. By the time I arrived at work, both towers had been hit.
I own a restaurant in Reston, VA within minutes of Dulles airport. I arrived and immediately turned on the radio in the kitchen. Next to my place there is a childrens learning center. Apparently I had the radio on so loud that my next door neighbor came over to ask me what was going on. As I described what I knew, she immediately broke into tears, and quickly ran back to her place. At this point I was confused, and angry. We opened for business at 11am, not expecting much business I tuned the radio in the dining room to WTOP and turned it up. To my suprise we were very busy that day. I guess people needed to be someplace comfortable, to be with their friends and co-workers.
The sight of a full dining room was eery, in that, no one was speaking. Everyone was listening intently to the horrific accounts of what had happened that morning. It would be weeks before the sound in our dining room returned to normal, even though the radio went back to music on 09-12. Maybe I should have kept it on talk radio, but I wanted our guests to feel like things were returning to normal, even though none of us would ever be the same.
I remember the sky outside the restaurant, beng near Dulles, we frequently saw the trails left by planes, many of them, now there were none. There wouldn’t be any for many days.
It was not until I arrived home late that evening that I saw any images of the days terrible events. I sat in front of the television for hours, much of that time spent crying, and angry. I remember distinctly the image of President Bush sitting in that classroom when he was told of the second plane, and seeing the look on his face. That image is etched in my mind. It was one of suprise, mixed with resolve, strength, confidence, and leadership.
Thank you Mr. President for your leadership at this time. Thank you for your sincerety, your poise and your resolve. Thank you to Mayor Guillani for your empathy and commitment to the people of New York. Thank you to the men on that plane in PA. Thank you FDNY for your heroism in the face of disaster. Thank you to the armed forces for your unwavering defense of our freedom.
God Bless America!