I remember how quiet the day was

Date Submitted: 07/02/2015
Author Info: Sarah (Seattle - USA) 
Occupation: Administrative
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I was working as an administrative assistant at a Navy-contract shipyard in San Diego. I was one of relatively few employees with no military connection – many of the employees were National Guard, ex-Navy, and so forth. On Sept 11, I arrived at work early in the morning as usual. The office was very quiet, which was not usual. There were a few employees gathered around a radio in one office. They said something about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center, then went back to the radio. I went to my desk and sat down. I couldn’t focus my thoughts, so I just kept sitting there without doing any work at all. No one said anything to me. By then, we’d learned about the second plane, the second tower. Not long after that, someone said that all of the staff with military connections had specific emergency responsibilities to fulfill. There was nothing for me to do, so I was told to go home (not fired, just dismissed for the day). I drove home in a daze, the traffic around me didn’t seem real. My fiance was home because he was at the time unemployed. We turned on CNN and watched for the rest of the day, even though much of the time it was just repeating footage when there were no new developments – just more billowing smoke, more people falling through the air. We didn’t talk much. We didn’t know what to say. The entire day was very quiet and very heavy. There was nothing for us to do.


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