I am the wife of a submariner in the US Navy and a government employee at the same command my husband works at. I was getting ready for work and normally I would turn on the TV first thing…but I didn’t that morning. After my shower, I turned on the news and saw one WTC tower in flames. I sat down and watched as the second plane flew into the second tower. Then reports of a plane hitting the pentagon started to develop and then a fourth missing plane. I ran into where my husband was and told him that we were under terrorist attack and that two planes had crashed into the WTCs and the pentagon. We both sat on the end of the bed in disbelief.
I finally composed myself and got ready for an interesting day at work. I automatically assumed that we would be in Threatcon Delta (highest state of alert) and figured that I would probably not be able to get onto base.
Surprisingly, everything seemed normal. There were no anticipated delays. I immediately ran upstairs to one of the lounges where there was a television set and it was standing room only. Gaping mouths filled the room with an eerie silence. My first thought was “This means war.” It was slipping off the toungue of quite a few sailors as we watched the towers burn. I then thought, those towers are going to collapse and in that same instant, the first one did.
I worried about my brother who (a New Jersey State Trooper) would be called to duty…and he was. He lost several friends in the NJ Port Authority. He dug through the rubble for a few days afterwards. The reality of it all did not truly hit for about three days…and when it did, I cried every night for about a week.
I will say, that I am grateful for my life and my family. I know how quickly our lives can be taken away…in one fleeting moment.
My patriotism has never been stronger.
I cannot believe how quickly people have forgotten the horror of that day…for a few short weeks, people were nicer to one another…no one was as in big a hurry to get where they were going. Unfortunately, as time has passed, so did the kindness wane as memories of that day have faded.
Mine will not though…because it could happen again…and I will never take another day of my life for granted.