Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2001

This was written a couple of years ago... Thought it fitting to post here... This day...

Do you remember where you were then? I do, and I'll never forget it for the rest of my days...

I was sitting at work at Austin Community College at the front desk across from the Student Lounge. It has since been revamped and things moved around, but that day is clear in my mind. The office was empty at the time and I was there, bored out of my mind and just sitting there watching all of the students in the lounge. Something grabbed my attention, though. The TV in the lounge was on and it hardly ever was especially that early in the morning. The volume was off until someone decided to cut it on as well. All heads were cocked up toward the screen. Some people were crying others had there hands covering their mouths and a lot of people were standing around all peering at the screen. I then moved from my desk to the hallway so that I could see the TV better and then more people started coming out of the offices. As I looked on the screen, they began showing a playback of what happened and it was the first plane hitting the tower! We couldn't believe it! At first I thought that it was a horrible accident and I immediately began to cry. As I stood there watching the screen seeing the smoke bellow out of the building, the second plane hit and I knew precisely then what was going on. My co-worker Olga at the time, was overwhelmed with emotion. I remember how hard she was crying and I tried to comfort her, but it's even harder to comfort someone when you are equally overcome with emotion yourself. As the news spread throughout the building, employees began to call their loved ones who live in New York to check on them and two people, in particular, were petrified. Both of their spouses were in New York on business and were supposed to be on a plane that morning and in the area of the World Trade Center. I remember their panicked faces as they tried to phone them, but to no avail. The phone lines that morning were tremendously busy! No calls were making it out to that area. Soon, all of us were in the Student Lounge watching the screen. I don't believe any work or anything was accomplished that day.

At home, that night was horrible. The TV stations played the crashes over and over and it was on every network. But one thing in particular grabbed a hold of me. It was a documentary of a guy who was a firefighter in New York. All footage was being taped live as it happened. The scene when the first plane hit and the firefighters were on the way into the building and the sound of the jumpers hitting the ground. In the movie he says, "We all heard it. That sound. No one said a word. You can't describe it. Upon hearing it, you know exactly what it is. You know how bad it is up there if people would rather jump to their deaths than burn to death in the building." I'll never forget that sound or those words for the rest of my life. I've watched the airing of that show every year since 9/11.

One thing that I remember proudly, was the outpouring of TOGETHERNESS that was shown throughout the country after this happened. It has slowly faded away since. EVERYONE either had a flag at their house, on their clothes even on their car. We were one country and it was beautiful! We need to get that feeling back that we all had after this horrible event happened. We all shared in the tragedy, the grief and in the sorrow. We were one, one country truly indivisible.

The lives of the people who perished that day should be remembered, forever.

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