Wednesday, September 11, 2013
12 Years Ago....
I arrived home after dropping the kids off at school. Fixed myself another cup of coffee, turned on the radio, and headed into my home office to check my email. About a half hour later, I was responding to an email when I realized the radio wasn't playing any music. I decided to finish what I was doing. Suddenly, and IM popped up from my BFF.
Get off the internet and go watch the news. A plane hit the twin towers.
I typed back 'Okay', then wrote 'BRB.....apparently a plane hit the twin towers in NYC. Going to see what's going on.' I saved it to a draft and went into the living room. The radio had switched to ABC reporters; I shut if off and turned on the news. After watching a few moments, I called my mom, who was watching, and then the 2nd plane hit.
Mom and I got off the phone so we could concentrate on what was happening. I watched in horror as people were forced to make a horrific decision: Burn to death while waiting for rescue, or jump out the window in hopes of landing on something soft? People landed on pedestrians. They landed on the sidewalk. They landed in the street.
When the 1st tower fell, it was like watching a scene from either Godzilla or King Kong movie. Dust and smoke flying through the air, people running into the TV station covered in soot and obviously in shock. Everyone felt helpless as we watched the 2nd tower fall.
Then there came a report of another plane crashing in Pennsylvania....and another one hitting the Pentagon. What the hell was happening?
Sometime around noon, I dragged my eyes away from the TV and fixed myself some lunch, then headed back to my computer to finish my email. And braced myself for what I was going to say to the kids.
But the school had already informed them. My neighbor called me in a panic; she said gas prices were spiking and they were headed into Indianapolis to spend the week, so her hubby wouldn't have to waste gas making the hour-long drive every day, and would I keep an eye on the house?
Our tiny two-pump gas station was backed up all the way to the school. I thanked God we'd gassed up the previous day! K's coach called; football practice was cancelled until further notice.
Reports trickled in, especially about the heroism of Flight 93, and the infamous last known words of Todd Beamer, who led the passengers into fighting back against the hijackers. "Let's Roll..."
Over the next several days, Daytime Talk Shows devoted themselves to telling stories about heroes rushing into the buildings to help people escape from the burning buildings.
There was no DVR back then; if you had Direct TV, you could record it, but we only had an antenna and a VCR. I was in too much shock to put a tape in the VCR to record what was happening, but the images are forever burned into my brain.
And today, when I told my 9 y/o to wear red, white, and blue, he has no clue what happened back then, only that a lot of people died.
I only pray the history books my granddaughter reads in the next decade are accurate, and not just 'another day to remember'.
Yes, we remember the tragedy. But we also celebrate the heroes of the day, and the American Spirit which rallied the nation and showed the world we will not simply lie down and surrender.