Sorry - had to add back the word verification - Spammed

Thursday, September 11, 2008

And on this day, I REMEMBER.........

Here it is again, the anniversary of one of the few days I will remember for the rest of my life. I have to acknowledge first it is my friend Kevin's Birthday so "Happy Birthday Kevin" ...

Today is the day, I am not going to add pictures because I think that you lose sight of the importance of that day for Awe in the 1000 words the photos cover. I think the photos take away the personal nature of the lives lost, the hours spent worried and wondering, the notice of time and space and quite and loud and crashes and sadness that followed.
Today is the day I was working the same as I always work, I was driving in, listening to Bob and Tom like I always listen and getting to my parking lot, parked 7 spaces from the door they said it. The first plane hit... The World Trade Center "what?" I am thinking to myself, that's crazy, that's our office... It must be a mistake...Everything stopped, it was so quiet outside, no one was there, walking in with me like usual. The sky was the perfect shade of blue, the dew sat on the grass and the sweet smell of fall was in the air. It was still warm and there were streaks of white across the sky noting the day should have been a brilliant day for travel.
I was clearly shaken, I RAN into the building and up the stairs and ran in my office room and yelled "What's going on? They said a plane hit the building?" and one of the women in my office turned very snide and said "It was an engine and is no big deal" I turned to my boss and said "have you spoken to anyone there? Is everything ok?" she turned pale, I've never seen her like this before or after, a look of shock ran over her face. Radio's went on all over the room and everyone picked up their phones. I did the same, the lines were all tied up, we dialed and dialed.. Finally someone got a hold of Tim (real name) and he was on his cell phone going to get lunch, they had the alarms going off in he background and he was saying how loud it was and he had meetings all day upstairs. Debbie turned again, "see, I told you it's fine" she was so snippy, I have no idea why I remember that, but she was, always.
We started getting more calls asking if things were ok then my bosses boss came in and said to get to work as if this was any other day. It was any other day, it was any other day, it still goes in my mind like that, over and over... This was the day that decided that I would not watch the news for 5 years, that the tv went off and I started hand sewing, paining and any other thing I could do to keep busy.
What felt like minutes later was the shock, there was another plane, it hit the other building and then the world went so fast I can't remember the amount of time that went by and or how fast or slow or what order the next events actually were. We then started on with the radios, CNN, NBC,ABC, Fox News, anything we could get. We all have double monitors because of what we do so in that room, in that one tiny room with 15 or so computers, you could stand in the back and watch everything unfolding. The videos started and in our conference room the TV was on. The TV's were not in New York, the antenna's were on the top of those buildings, the signals were all but lost, cell phones dead. Subway under the building, then what happens? What goes on now? My bosses boss comes out of her office and says "Everyone, we will not leave today, we will stay in the building until we know we are safe. If you feel that you need to leave at this time, it will be counted as a vacation or personal day. Please go over every e-mail and every client, every employee that has sent you an e-mail on the east cost, see if you can find their cell phone numbers, home numbers, personal e-mail addresses and or any other form of communication that is outside of the office. We need to find these people and make sure they are safe" This was crazy, Debbie was scared, she lived over an hour away and heard someone say they were going to attack small towns next and somehow get the attached schools, the ones that were K thru 12 all in the same building set, she was out the door. The rest of us stayed, the woman that sat behind me Maggie, she was worried, her son worked only blocks away from the White House and she could not leave, this was the only place he would know where she was and so she sat at her desk not moving, waiting for his call.
We all wondered around like Zombies, I can remember, I smoked back then and I went outside and the sky was too perfect, too pale blue and the breeze was blowing, flowers in bloom, trees were swaying in almost a cartoon way of saying hello. How could there be so much peace here? It was not right... I watched things unfold before me, I watched on a monitor those buildings crumble like Lego's, and sat. I cried, I remember crying, it was so much on my emotions, I called my mother just about every hour... I called my family, I called my friends I could not handle the outcome of this day.
I cried because I found phone numbers for people and now what? How do you call these people and what if they answer? what if they don't? What do you say on someones cell phone voice mail? What kind of e-mail do you send to someone? Wondering if moments later they would get it, months they would not. I cried wondering all of these things, I wondered around in a fog for the rest of the day, I went home and sat in front of the TV and watched like just about everyone else in America did except the New Yorkers that needed this information and could not watch, could not because the signal was down, because their people were not found because they were stuck somewhere.
I remember hearing my boss come out of the office and lying, saying that her counterpart in NY called and they had everyone accounted for, I remember later finding out that she was on the subway about to get off when the first plane hit and the subway driver took off without stopping. She was stuck on the train, blocks away thankfully for her but she had no access to her team and or an action plan on what to do next. I can now imagine how she must have felt but the lie was too much for me to forgive. I have a friend who lost her father that day, our company was purchased and then again purchased, and today, I got an e-mail from my new boss's boss's boss asking us all to remember, remember that day, remember those people..

I remember, I remember it all like it was a dream, like you wake up wondering if you need a glass of water or want to curl up in a ball and try to forget it happened. I remember I did not know my husband then, I was with someone else and he and I were breaking up. I remember finding myself in the arms of another man, someone quite older than I and at his house sitting on the couch with him, watching this all. He had children, they were not there, but there were little firemen and other action figures on the floor at his home. I remember seeing them and wondering what would Spider man have been able to do?
Over time, at least 4 days they found all of our friends that we were having trouble locating. Not everyone we knew made it, it was a day I will never forget.

Others that remember

Scholastic Scribe
Z's Mom and I worked together but have such different stories, read hers @ Zander & Me

3 comments:

Z's Mom said...

Wow....you're right....we did have different experiences even though we worked at the same place.

I think I liked my office better.

Who was Debbie....she needed a nice hot cup of "STHU"....

You know what's weird? I don't remember being scared. Not for myself or my family really. I don't know why I thought we were safe. I just felt bad for everyone else.

Susie said...

I am plagued with horribly violent nightmares but nothing I have ever dreamed anything like 9-11. It was beyond any comphrension.

By the way, thanks for stopping by today. I am the Queen of Cheesecake. I usually make a bunch of them around the holidays so, stay tuned:-)

Kelly said...

Such a horrible, tragic day for America...words can not even touch it...you came close...