Certainly, someone wouldn't be doing this on purpose. Certainly, this must have been some freak accident, we thought. We heard President Bush had been informed. That he was at an elementary school in Florida. There was suspicion. Could this be an attack on our country? Our fears were soon confirmed once I saw a plane headed straight for the South Tower. I watched with my hands over my mouth as the plane hit the side of the building, causing it to explode, fire jetting out in all directions.
More news came in. Planes were hijacked and aimed toward other targets. President Bush was in the air on AirForce One. My husband was traveling. I desperately called him, wanting to hear his voice and confirm he was okay. He was. But he heard AirForce one was nearby. Would they go after the President, too? Luckily not.
I worried about so many people that day. My family in New York. My traveling husband. The families of the employees in The Towers and nearby. The firefighters and policemen and their families. The people jumping out of the buildings and the rescue personnel below them (I'll never forget the booming sound when they hit the ground). The people stuck in the stairwells of The Towers, trying desperately to get out. The people who never made it out as each tower gave way, crushing everything within and below it as it crashed to the ground, forcing more debris and dust and body parts everywhere. The pictures taped to electric poles of missing souls, families desperate to find them. The employees in the Pentagon. The loved ones in airplanes that crashed to the ground. It was the most chaotic feeling, not knowing what would be the next target and who else would die.
And it was far-reaching. The stock market crash, people's retirement obliterated. Looking up at the sky weeks later, hoping the plane in the sky wouldn't crash on me too. The relief I felt when my husband returned home. The hours and hours of watching television and people begging for information. Such an emotionally sad time. If you watched, you know what I mean. I'm sure you felt it, too. But I also remember something else. We came together as a nation. We cared about each other. For a brief period of time, I remember feeling connected with everyone. And I want that feeling back.
Do you remember? Where were you?