Waking up to disaster

Date Submitted: 06/02/2002
Author Info: Sean (Schofield, WI - USA) 
Occupation: Computer Technician/Engineer
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I remember it all too well. I was working second shift in an office building, and was in the process of sleeping. My daughter had a doctor’s appointment that morning for her arm, as she was preparing for surgery. My wife was always an early riser as she worked in the mornings, and she awoke to be with the kids for a little while before I got up.

The phone rang and she answered it, as it rarely rang that early in the morning. My father was calling for me, and asked to speak with me. When I took the phone from her, I groggily answered, “Hello?”

“Sean… this is your father, have you been watching the news?”

“Dad… it’s 9 in the morning… Why would I be awake, let alone watching the news?”

“Because the World Trade Centers have had some planes crash into them… as did the Pentagon.”

I leaped from the bed, without thought of what I was wearing, and turned on the TV. My wife, meantime was wondering what was going on. At the time, we were having some major problems with my uncle and she thought that he was doing something incredibly stupid to get himself on the news. It wasn’t until she saw the smoke coming from the Twin Towers and from the Pentagon, that things began to sink in to the both of us.

We were under attack…

Who was responsible? Who knew? What had occured? What was going on?

Being in the National Guard, I immediately turned on the radio to listen to anything I could. The news was reporting the nation’s military on it’s highest Alert status, but I could hear nothing. I began to bombard the armory with phone calls. What is going on? Where do we stand? They were prepared, and though they heard my voice over a dozen times that day, they were patient as ever, and in control of the situation. Being a Non-Commissioned-Officer, it was my responsibility to know what was occurring in case one of my troops asked me the same. My Guard friends and I had a lengthy email conversation that day, and I still have the emails, every one of them. But again, what could we do?

It was obvious the United States was under attack, but from where? Almost immediately, Osama bin Laden was named, Afghanistan targeted, and the entire world condemning this action… except Iraq and Afghanistan itself. Even Iran, who has been at odds with the United States, in supporting terrorism for over 30 years, condemned these attacks.

But… where do we go from here? Time would tell in the days, weeks and months to come.


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