What were you doing on that fateful day?
I arrived at my work. I parked my car. I got out and noticed the office girl was still sitting in her van. I walked over and said good morning…what’s up. She looked at me and said that she was listening to the radio…a plane had crashed into a building in New York. We went in and started our day.
At that time, 15 years ago, we didn’t have piped in muzak….we had the local radio. Not long after we had punched in the music was interrupted by news reports from New York. When the news coming in was fairly sure that it was not just a small plane accidentally hitting a building, that it was intentional, the stock boy made an antenna out of a spool of wire for a demonstration television we had. He stood and held that wire up while we watched the news reports and eventually………………………………….watched the towers fall. A customer stood next to me. Weeping. For…I don’t know how long.
I eventually went to a phone (no cell phones back then for most of us) and called the DH. I will never forget saying to him “this is the end of the world as we know it”. He, trying to comfort or console or pacify me said “maybe not”. But I knew that was what he was doing. I knew in my heart I was right and the world had changed. I wanted to go home. I wanted The Daughter and The DH home from work and The Boy home from school. I wanted to be home with them. Safe…or as safe as we could be.
I was in War mode. I was ready for War Bonds and Salvage Drives and Blood Drives and every darn thing I’d ever read about WWII. It was the end of the world as we knew it….I was right. But I was so very wrong. For a brief moment we were united. And then…as time went on…it all fell apart. I’m not smart enough to venture a reason why. Now, 15 years later, we are the most divided we have been in my life and I fear for the future.
Back then “Never Forget” was the banner everywhere. Now….”professors”…”educators” are tearing down posters memorializing the day. Athletes are refusing to stand as the Anthem plays. We have forgotten and I weep for the future for my children and my grandson.
Suggestions for some thoughtful reading…