Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sept. 11th

Today is September 11th. I don't have a lot to say that doesn't make me either angry or sad. I'll tell you a little about what I was doing 6 years ago.

It was a Tuesday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The sky was bright blue - no clouds. It was warm but not too hot. It was my first day back at work after my honeymoon. I was showing off my pictures of my wedding. I was at work. I was doing what was called "red folders" at my job, four jobs ago. I took some back across the road to another office and a guy named Jeff told me. I tried to go to cnn.com but the site wouldn't load. A man in my office tuned a small portable radio to ABC News Radio.

My phone rang. It was Carly. She wanted to know what was going on and I was usually in the know, but I didn't know. It couldn't be that bad. A guy whose name I forget (he was Italian and had a mustache and six years ago, I talked to him every day and now I can't remember his name...I think it ends in an "o") came in and said he had just been to New York and the World Trade Center and 50,000 people could be in that building that fell down.

I called my mom. I knew she would be worried about me. There was no reason to be worried about me, of course. I was hundreds of miles away from there. Actually, I just checked on maquest and I was less than 200 miles from Shanksville, PA, where I believe Flight 93 crashed. But still, mom would be worried. I talked to her for just a few minutes. She was relieved I was fine.

I got a mass email from the corporate people at work telling us all to stop making personal long distance calls. The phones were needed for business-related calls so customers can reach us, so stay off the phone. No business calls were coming in. No one was setting up a shipment or sending in a PO. Everyone was glued to the TV, the radio, or the internet. People were standing in the hallways talking and looking shell-shocked. Some people were crying.

I went home, my first night after work as a married woman. We had dinner. I watched live on TV as some building, which was thankfully evacuated already, fell down. I went to the neighbor's house. She had been watching WonderCat and I needed to get my key back. Her kids were out back playing. The TV was off. It would stay off until she knew what to say to her kids. She had to tell them something. They'd be going back to school tomorrow and the other kids would be talking. What should she tell them? She had a small, portable radio tuned to the AM station and was listening. I had been crying.

I assume at some point I went home from the neighbor's house and watched more live coverage of death and destruction. They kept showing (and still to this day keep showing) the pictures of the planes hitting the buildings, the buildings on fire, the tall antenna on the building standing straight up as the building falls to the ground, the leaning, standing piece of debris that used to be four floors of a building, the flag being raised on that debris, the handmade/homemade signs people made with pictures asking if anyone has seen "John missing since 9-11, last seen wearing blue shirt & khaki pants in the subway station", the flowers and teddy bears laid at the fence around the site, whicch is now named Ground Zero just like a nuclear bomb had gone off, the sky with no airplanes and no contrails and no traffic helicopters and no light flight helicopters - just eerie silence all weel. ANyway, the images are burned into my mind and I fear that I will never be able to forget them (and in some ways, I hope I never do).

I'd like to say something sarcastic and witty about Osama bin Laden's "Grecian Formula" beard, but I cannot. I'd like to say that cowards hide in the hills and caves. But, I don't have the fight in me to say that. Today, I am just very sad.

I lost a couple of classmates that day, and I know plenty of people who lost coworkers and acquaintances. My uncle was on a conference call with counterpart bond traders at Cantor Fitzgerald. He heard people die. He will never be the same again. A friend-of-a-friend was in the WTC on one of the mid-number floors - 40s or 50s. He hasn't gone back to work since then. He travels the country telling people what happened to him that day, how he got out, how others helped him, how he tried to help others.

In a way, I can hardly believe "only" 2,974 people were killed that day. It could have been so much worse. Our US military forces have lost about that number in the six years since in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I'm really glad it was overcast and rainy today. The bright, sunny weather on the 11th always makes it too hard.

My resolve is strong. I hate islamoterrorism. I hate terrorists. F-k the terrorists.

Oh, the man's name I forgot was Dan. Yes. Italian Dan C-o. That's right.

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