My first memorable trip to D.C.

Date Submitted: 09/10/2002
Author Info: Lewis (Nageezi, NM - USA) 
Occupation: Other
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

This was my first trip to Washington D.C. I very excited to go. I work with the National Park Sevice in Chaco Canyon located in New Mexico USA. My friend and I arrived in D.C. on Sept. 9th for training. Just as we flew over the Pentegon I looked out of the plane window to see the massive building. I was very impressed and have always wanted to see the building since grade school. Along with the other monuments of D.C.

On Sept. 10 we toured the area (the Capitol, The White House, etc.) Taking pictures for our familys back home. I’m a Native American (Navajo) that has never been this far from home. So, we finished for the day and went back to our hotel.

Sept. 11 We got up early to find the location of our training for the next three days. The location was across the street of the Capitol building. I had taken a picture of the morning sunrise against the Captiol Building that morning thinking this is going to be a great day. Our session didn’t start until 8:00 a.m. and we were there at 7:15. We sat until the rest showed up and started. We listened to a college professor from the local college there for about an hour and a half. Getting ready to be dismissed to find our Senetor’s and State Representative’s a waiter opened the door and asked all of us the leave the building immediatly. Not knowing what was going on we left. Once we got out side I saw alot if people in the street. Sirens all around(police, fire trucks, and ambulances). We didn’t know what was going on. Some said that the National Mall was on fire due to a plane crash. Some said a bomb threat. Still, couldn’t find out. So, my friend and I started to walk to the National Mall to see if the story was true. The police asked every one to move away from the buildings. As we were walking we didn’t see any smoke or fire at the mall. We walked half way of the mall when we heard a couple fighter jets fly over us. We figured this was serious. Just then an Afro-American had a small transistor radio with one earplug listening to the news. He was talking loud saying “There’s another plane coming, There’s another plane coming.”

We didn’t know what to do or what was going on, until we saw black smoke coming for the northwest from where we were standing. Figuring there was a plane crash at the Reagon airport. I asked my friend to stay there while I find out what was going on. I walk down the street to find a phone booth to call home and work. I couldn’t find one anywhere. Standing one the corner of a street I over heared a lady calling home. She asked what was going on. She looked stunned and said to her friend standing next to her that two planes crashed in to the World Trade Center in New York. Then a carbomb exploded outside of the Pentegon. Loudly she said that both Trade Center’s have collapsed. I was stunned for a while. I didn’t know what else to do. I started to walk back to my friend and tell him the news. Just as I was walking back, there were cars being left on the street. People all over the street, walking to god knows where. I finally told him the news and figured that we need to go back to our hotel and call home.

As we were walking, I spotted a phone booth and called home. It took me 30 minutes to reach home, the lines were tied up with everyone calling. I told every one that I was alright and doing O.K. and for them not to worry. I called work and tried to figure out how to get home. We had approval to get a rental car and leave ASAP. First, we had to find a way to our hotel.

Our hotel was in Rosslyn, Virginia, across the Potomic River. We walked down a street and asked if the Metro was running. Finding out that they had shut down during the situation. We stopped at a constrution site were the workers sat and listened to a radio in the street.

We sat and listened for a while, finding out some more information of what had happened. Just as I looked up a man in a business suit was holding a little boy by the hand and carrying a little girl in the other. The kids didn’t look like him nor did he respond to them as a father. I figured that he found them on the street and were lost or abandoned. He went into one of the stores and came out with the kids again holding there hands and walked down the street like he was looking for someone or the mother of the children. I choked up and almost crying when I saw the kids. Thinking about my kids back home.

During the wait the Metro started up and was running again. We walked to the nearest station and boarded the subway. We had minor stops on the way, but finally made it to Rosslyn station. We made it to our hotel and in the lobby was the T.V. on. That was our first glimpse of the Twin Towers smoldering in black smoke. We hurried up to our rooms and turned on the T.V.

We were shocked for the second time and I felt sad for all the people in the building. Listening to all the people on t.v. asking if anyone has seen there relatives. I looked out my window and not realizing that the Pentegon was a mile or so down from the hotel. I could see the smoke billowing from there.

As night fell, I could here the fighter jets flying through the night. Watching the news and listening to all the parents and relatives who were caught in the tragedy. Wishing there was something more to do. Wishing that there was a Superman who could fly around the world and start the day all over again to prevent from this day from happening. In reality our hero’s go out to the rescue people who saved the people in the buildings and the country who stood tall in an event like this.

As we were driving back to New Mexico I felt proud to all the people who helped out in supplies and voluteer’s that went to New York and Washington D.C. Especially the buildings and homes that flew the American Flag. May God Bless the United States and to all the people who live in this great land of ours.


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