Routine Mornings Interrupted Forever

Date Submitted: 09/10/2011
Author Info: Al (Colorado Springs, CO - USA) 
Occupation: Other
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

At that time I was not yet retired and 53 years old. I would start my day by going to our local high school track and run 3 to 4 miles daily before work or around 6:00 AM. That morning I finished my run and proceed to the local Ballys gym located to finish my workout, clean up and proceed to work. As I came out of the shower area around 7:00 AM mountain time I noticed many of the men were gathering around the television located in the locker room of the facility. I proceed to ask what was happening. I had caught a quick glimpse of the screen as I came out of the showers and thought they were viewing computer generated graphics since the pictures apppeared fuzzy. I asked is that a simulation of what could happen or did an errant pilot hit the WTC. No someone exclaimed that actually happened. At that time the second plane hit. I was befuddled but commentators were now stating this was no accident and appeared to be a terrorist attack. I rushed to get dressed come home watch more TV and proceed to work. By the time I got to my vehicle in the parking lot radio news stated that the Pentagon had now been hit. With my son a State Department employee living in DC area I came apart thinking that hopefully that morning he was not at the Pentagon since his position at that time took him there quite frequently. I immediately tried to reach him but to no avail. I was now home and very worried since the networks announced that a bomb had gone of near the State Department building in DC. More panic and to make matters worse a plane had crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside. My wife was sent home from the elementary school where she taught and we were both quite upset in being unable to reach our son across the country. Our phone started ringing continuously from everyone who knew our son lived and worked in the DC area. We had no answers for them as to his status. We were very concerned. Time stood still. Finally around 10:20 local time , 12:10PM on the east coast we received the best phone call we have ever received in our lifetime. That morning our son was at the State Department Building when the Pentagon was hit and he was ok. The building where he works went into a lockdown and all vehicles in the parking facility were sequestered and he could not get this car for a few days. He was trying to work his way up to the Maryland DC suburbs where his aunt could pick him up and where he would spend the next few days with her since he could not get down to Alexandria, VA where he resides. Although the phone records show he called within three hours after the first plane hit it seemed like a lifetime to us. At noon we attended mass and the church was packed more so than it ever is even on Sundays. After that morning I have never taken anything for granted. I try to live each day to the fullest and am so thankful that the tragedy that reached and touched so many families that day spared our son.
Everytime I shower at our local gym and see that same television where I first heard of the attacks I am reminded of 911 and those who perished that day.


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