Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Post I Didn't Write on the 11th

Its been 7 years - 7 years to put aside the emotions, to go on with my life in a cacoon. I even left my street and glanced over at a man lowering the flag and had to ask myself why.

Then I remembered.

I wasn't going to post about this - I've never been one for bandwagons. Then, last night I watched a special on the History channel of the archived footage from that 90 or so minutes. Then I watched the special that introduced the people who shot the footage - average citizens and professionals.

I a baby. I felt the fear, I related to their words - their screams as the second plane careened into the tower.

I was at work, hating every minute of restocking the hotel's continental breakfast, when my mother called. I groaned to myself as she told me that something had flown into the World Trade Center. At that moment...I didn't really care. I didn't even know what it was - I don't even think I knew what it looked like. I shook her off. I reminded her that only a few months before (I think) a kid had crashed his father's plane into a building and it was probably just another accident.
She made me turn on the tv - the big screen in the hotel lobby.
I saw the smoke billowing out of the tower, and much as it is when a car crashes in a NASCAR race, I was interested and couldn't look away. Then I saw another plane and, even though I could see the first tower billowing gray smoke, I asked if they were replaying the footage - just as the second plane crashed into the second tower on national television.
I almost dropped the blood went cold. In that moment I knew that something was definately wrong. THIS was not an accident. My mother gasped and went silent.
People had gathered in the lobby, asking me what was going on - and then they were silent too.

I look back on that day now and it all seems to have happened so fast. It seemed like mere seconds when I saw a burning Pentagon and heard about Flight 93.
I was a 21 year old woman, in a Kansas hotel - who just desperately wanted to go home and hold her 6 month old son and know that he was ok.
I didn't know how much longer it was going to go on.
I just waited for another report to come in - another burning building...more charred wreckage.

I can't tell you when my blood went back to normal, when my mind stopped racing, or when I stopped searching the sky for danger. I can tell you that I have avoided reading about that day, avoided watching specials on it and talking about it just to get the feeling of numbness to go away.
In a crazy way, I'm glad that I forced myself to watch last night. I felt this strange pull to feel the fear again, to hear the screams of the terrified roommate, to watch the footage of firemen from the 288 walking towards their end with determination and bravery. And, in a crazy way, I'm trying to write this to honor them - honor them all.
We are allowed to go on with our day, to blast the President (the very one we looked too when our Country was attacked), to have hope for our futures (in what ever form we see it). BECAUSE I'm allowed to go on with my day, with my life, I choose to never forget them again. I will never let another September 11th go by without taking a few moments to think of the people who died that day at the hand of insanity in the form of religion - they DESERVE to be remembered. They deserve a few moments of my time.


Chas said...

We heard it on the radio. I remember thinking that they meant some kind of accident, a light plane maybe, and then we got back to where we were staying, and saw it on television. I'll never forget ...