Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11

I am sure that most Americans remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the awful news that a plane had struck one of the Twin Towers.  The memory is emblazoned in my mind forever.
I was working in the emergency department when a registrar told us that a plane hit one of the Twin Towers.  We turned on the radio at the desk to find out what happened.  The second plane hit the other tower and this cold feeling came over all of us.  We knew it was not an accident.
Patients dwindled to almost nothing as people got the news and stayed at home watching or listening to the news.  The place grew quiet--and for an ER, that's very different.  Then a plane hit the Pentagon and hysteria broke loose.  Everyone started calling their families or their families were calling them.  Fear ran rampant.
I didn't learn about the plane in Pennsylvania until I got home.  A terrible sadness fell over me when I learned of the heroism of those passengers.  I'm not ashamed to say that I broke down and wept when the congress sang America The beautiful on the Capitol steps.
For days I watched the images of the towers falling, of people in the streets covered in ash looking for their loved ones, of emergency workers trying to find anyone alive and finding no one.  It was as though the Earth just stopped moving and I stayed in a state of mourning for all those lost for weeks.
That terrible day 9/11/2001 forever changed us, changed our feelings of safety and how we go about our daily lives.  It changed everything.
Today, I am remembering that day, all those Americans who lost their lives, all of those who met the horror with bravery and heroism and those of us who will never forget.


Tina Donahue said...

I had arrived at work very early that day, so I was the first on the floor and the tragedy hadn't happened as yet. An hour later, when one of my co-workers came in and told me a plane had hit the twin towers, I thought she was kidding. Then I read the reports on the internet and watched the second plane hit.

It was surreal and so damn sad.

May all the poor souls who lost their lives that day rest in peace.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Sarah, I don't know if you're a big country and western fan or not, but even if you aren't, Alan Jackson wrote a song called "Where Were You When the Earth Stopped Turning?" that is about 9/11 and just makes me cry every time I hear it. I do not know HOW that man went on stage and performed that song without just breaking down and bawling. Give it a listen if you've not heard it.

My son Casey, was the one who told me about it as I was getting ready to take him to school. We were late and I didn't understand what he was talking about, but on the way home after I dropped him off, I turned on the radio and heard it. When I got home I called Gary at work (he worked for the FAA academy here in Oklahoma City at the time) and I had turned on the tv. They did not have any tv or any way of knowing about it, so he was telling everyone what I was saying as I heard it on the news. I had it turned on watching when the 2nd plane hit. At that point, someone came in and told them what was going on, and that's when chaos broke loose here, too. After the Murrah Building was bombed here in 1995, they highly suspected that whoever was flying the planes into the towers might be headed for here too, since we have a huge AFB right outside of OK City and the only training center for FAA employees is located here, too. Everyone was going to the schools to pick up their kids, as did I--we just didn't know what might happen next.

Even if I don't get my flag out any other day of the year, I get it out on 9/11. We will never, ever forget.


Fiona McGier said...

I fly my flag everyday, because I'm proud to live in the grand experiment, a country that accepts all people, all races, all faiths (including no faith), and we all live in sometimes acrimonious harmony. You do as you want in your yard, raise your kids your way, and I'll have your back for you, and defend your right to be there. But your freedom ends when you come into my yard and try to tell me how to live. As long as we can all agree on that, my flag will be out there, everyday.