I'm sure lots of blog entried have been written about 9/11 this weekend. Here's another one.
9/11/01 will forever live in all American's hearts. The day and the days after it seem surreal now. I was living with Grandma at the time and she was out of the country on vacation. I had the day off work and awoke early because of my body clock. I turned on the TV, expecting to see a regular show and saw instead news. I quickly flipped channels and when I learned of what was going on I was shocked. Just dumbfounded. I watched as the second plane hit the tower and the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. I listened as they reported a plane crashing in Pennsylvania.
I didn't know what to do. What should one do? I called my Mom at work and asked if she knew about what was going on and she did. I relayed more details as they were getting the news second hand from people walking into the office. I remember telling my Mom that if they ogt the Pentagon, it was really serious. I also remember asking her how Grandma was going to get home that weekend with all the airports locked down.
I spent the next 48 hours awake, watching TV. I was literally glued to the TV converage of it. I couldn't get away from it. I would watch even though I didn't want to see those towers fall, the people jumping and the family members crying out for their loved ones. And yet, I couldn't turn the TV off. It seemed like my only connection to the world and I really needed to feel connected at that time. I couldn't sleep. I lay awake at night on the couch watching and watching the TV stations and flipping channels to see who had the "best" information. The third night I drank alcohol after dinner in the hopes that it would help me to fall asleep finally, but it didn't. By the time that Saturday came, I was so tired.
In the weeks to follow I found so many signs of a renewed Americanism. I new pride in our country and what it stands for. I smiled at the flags painted on buildings in town, the flags hung from overpasses on the highways and the symbols that everyone was wearing. But today I am dismayed at how much of that has been lost.
In the years that have followed our country has taken my steps to prevent another attach such as that. It has made many changes, good and bad, to increase our security.
I am still haunted. Haunted mostly by the thought of the service people. The firefighters, police officers, military people in the Pentagon, civil servants who rushed to the areas and into the buildings in the course of their jobs and lost their lives. 343 firemen alone in New York were killed. That's over 10 percent of the killed. Seeing their faces on documentaries made about the day. Their climb up those stairs as the rest of the building was rushing to get out. Their faces haunt me. I think they always will.
I realize that civil servants like military, police officers, firefighters, EMT's all know going into their jobs that there may come a day when they won't go home. But it becomes so real in times like that. They chose a profession that entails them to give up their life when asked for others. They chose it. They know it. They still do it. I have such admaration for them. I think that's why their faces will always haunt me.