Was it really that long ago. I am not fond of war memorials I think humans would do better celebrating and concentrating on good memories because things that we celebrate tend to multiply.
I remember the morning of September 11, I stood outside before leaving for work. It was a beautiful morning, bright blue skies, warm and very little humidity. At the time I worked as a tile designer, a job I really loved and enjoyed. I arrived at 10am and walked into the side office where our we kept bins for company memos and communication. As I checked my bin I was listening to the radio and began to pay attention to what I was hearing. A woman broadcaster was reporting some type of accident involving an aircraft in New York. I thought to myself this does not sound good ,this is a crowded city with tall buildings. As I continued to listed I realized that something really bad was going on because she was crying while trying to report at the same time.
I realized that our offices seemed empty so I walked into the tile warehouse to see where everyone was. I noticed they were all in the warehouse. I td them what I had hears on the radio and Jim Kneels the warehouse manager found one if those cheap drugstore desk top televisions covered with dust from the back shelf. He plugged it in..tried to fix the antenna and we all crowded around trying to see what we could make of the grainy pictures.
What we did not know was that the first tower had already been hit. I believe we were watching the newscast from the today show and their studios had a nice glass window overlooking the area. As we watched the events the newscaster looked behind him and there was another plane headed for yet another tower. We watched in horror as the second tower was hit live on the air.
This was one of those strange moments where Noone needs to tell you that something bad is hapoening….the mathematics told us all that neither incident was an accident. Reports began coming in of potential explosions close to us….we had no clue that the Pentagon had been hit.
Everyone picked up their bags and left the building, I wS the last to leave. I looked at my boss Tim Farley and we shrugged and departed not knowing what tomorrow might hold.
Sometime between 11am and 12noon I headed home only 25 minutes away. I tried calling my father since he traveled to the Pentagon often…I cannot recall if I was able to reach him. My biggest concern was my son who was attending elementary school in 3rd grade. The school is situated inside our development right across the street. By the time I pulled into the school parking lot there was chaos….I did not expect the scene in front of me. I made my way into the building where crowds of parents were trying to pick up their children for safety. There was pandeminium….the headmistress recognized me in the crowd and asked me to not pick up my son. She seemed sad…she said….school will be out in a few hours…please don’t take him home early….when he leaves his life will change forever….allow him to enjoy a few hours of being a kid. I really didn’t want to leave him behind but being across the street I decided that he was as safe there as he would be at home with me.
I went home and upstairs into my son’s bedroom , turned on his television, crawled under his blankets and wept as I watched the images on the television. Noone returned to work for a week….we all sort of reeled from the events. Once we were back at work we realized that 2 if our clients that needed to pick up orders had perished in the Pentagon.
Several years later as a kitchen designer one if my clients was a military woman who described the events of that day and escaping the fire in the Pentagon.
The few months after the events the world suddenly became a better place. People rallied together and they seemed to appreciate the kindness of strangers. But we moved away from that and now we are further away than ever as humans in this planet. If we are going to remember 911 then I think we need to rethink our own values.