My husband and I had gone to the coast of Texas on vacation and to see his family. We were having a great time, just relaxing and fishing the days away with his aunt and uncle. That morning, the guys had left to get bait and load up our gear. I awoke slowly, showered, and sat down with a cup of coffee to watch the morning news. I had the tv on for about 30 minutes before it happened. I didn’t believe what I was seeing and then the second plane hit. The guys came in and I told my husband to watch. I thought it was a horrible accident when the first plane hit, but the second one confirmed it was a horrible act of will. His uncle is a Vietnam vet, so he left the room after a few minutes. My husband coaxed me outside so that we could continue the day. What else could we do? I called my mom briefly from the car and she told me my cousin was somewhere in NY, but no one was sure where. I prayed for her, and for everyone.
We sat at the bank on the entrance to Corpus Christi Bay and noticed the strange silence on the water. No tankers were being allowed in to port. Only naval ships were traveling out to sea. It was eerie. I alternated fishing and sitting in the truck listening to the news. I realized that had I been back home in Atlanta, I would be scared. But here, on the quiet Texas coast, I felt like a horrified observer, far from the horror. And as much as we enjoyed our time there, I couldn’t wait to get home and see my family, to know they were all ok.
My cousin was fine, on the other side of the city when it happened. As spread out as our family is, no one else was in New York. We feel blessed. We drove all of the way back to Atlanta a few days later. Through every town, city, highway along the way we saw the flag. It was posted on mailboxes, hanging from flagpoles and telephone poles, hung in shop windows and stuck on little sticks in the ground. I wanted to stop at every one and take a picture. To chronicle how 5 southern states expressed their support for the families and the country. The feeling of unity was as powerful as the feeling of loss.