Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you when the world stopped turning?


I had just arrived home after dropping Matthew and McKelle off at St. James school. It was about 8:30...the little boys were with me. I flipped on the TV, as was my habit, to watch the end of the Today show flipping back and forth with Good Morning America. And suddenly, there is breaking news coverage. A plane has hit the World Trade Center. One of the towers has been hit. Within a minute or two, Michael called from the hospital telling me to turn on the news. I was already glued to the TV.

I watched, live, as the second plane hit the other tower. "Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh!" I'm yelling at the TV. The most stunning pictures I have ever seen. Prayers fill my heart and mind for those on the plane...those in the towers. But I have no clue how bad it is going to be. As I listen to the reporting, the tears start to fall. And fall hard. Then, without warning, behind Dan Rather, the tower starts to crumble and I am screaming at him because he is still commentating. Noone has informed him of what is happening behind him. His ignorance lasted only seconds, but it seems so long in my memory. I watch in horror as the second tower falls as well.

Hearing reports about a plane hitting the Pentagon. And then Pennsylvania. Oh my gosh, PENNSYLVANIA! Is Philadelphia a target? The kids are the school. Are they safe? My sister is in Seattle. A potential target? Who do I know in New York? In DC?

I rush back to the school, radio blasting continuous news coverage, and take my babies home. I'm not sure about safe, but they are with me. Michael is still at the hospital. There's a call for doctors to go to New York. Students? A possibility.

I watch, and watch. Unable to tear myself away from the tragic scenes on television. Stuck in my mind is a beautiful blond woman who appears with Katie Couric, pictures of her fiance in hand. "Has anyone seen him? Our wedding is only weeks away. Please...please. Has anyone seen the love of my life?"

Hour after hour, day after day, replay on the television. The images are seared into my brain. So many lost, but not so many as once feared. Terror in America.

I will remember. I will NOT forget. I will teach my children what it means to have freedom. I will tell them of the many heroes who died that day. 9/11/01