Sep 11, 2009

This is The Day for Our Generation

This is the day for our generation to say "What were you doing when?".  I remember as a kid, there were days every year that all the grown ups would say. I was _________ when ____________.  The whens would be filled in with when we landed on the moon, when JFK was shot, when Elvis died.  While these events shaped the history of America each in their own special way, none will ever compare to what occurred to our great nation just 8 years ago.  When my kids are old enough to understand (I don't really comprehend how they will ever be old enough) I will tell them about where I was that fateful morning that shaped history and will be studied for centuries to come.  I thought about posting a video to go with this, but just looking at what is out there broke my heart all over again.  I am sure the footage of that day is stamped into our brains for the rest of our lives anyway.

I was 21.  I was entering a very exciting and scary time in my life.  I was not only moving in with my boyfriend (later to become hubs), but we were moving half the country away to do it.  We had been seeing each other since January, and despite spending most of our time in one of our apartments or the other, we had still maintained our independence.  Around April he told me he would be leaving for Florida in the fall to go to school.  We could do long distance, we could say no strings - and see where it goes when he came back, or I could go with him.  I chose the last option. 

I had to leave a week before him to accept a job transfer (I was an assistant manager for an "upscale" apartment community).  I arrived late on Friday September 7th.  I had the weekend to get my bearings and unload my few possessions that had fit in my little truck before starting a job in what seemed like a foreign land.  I spent Monday doing paperwork and figuring out how things ran in my new office.  Tuesday started as a normal day.  I walked to the office at 8:30 (since I lived on-site) and got started with "opening" up the office.  The doors unlocked at 9.  I made the coffee, put the otis spunkmyer cookies  in their special little oven, then turned on the TV in the media room to the news. 

It was about 10 till and what I saw on the screen had me locked in my position.  I heard the anchor say there were reports that it was a plane that had crashed into the building, but they didn't have confirmation of that, and that it could have been accidental.  As I stood there rooted, I watched on live television as the second plane came into view and flew right into the building.  Oh my God, that was no accident!  After the doors had been unlocked and my absence noticed, the media room began to draw a crowd of my co-workers.  We must have stood there in silence for close to an hour.  By then we had found out that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon and yet another was unaccounted for (Later to be discovered to have also been hi-jacked, but crashed into a Pennsylvania field thanks to the courage of those on board). 

Shaking us from our silenced state was the managers cell phone.  The owner of the property was telling us that due to the uncertainty we were going to keep the office open, but only with a skeleton crew (meaning management stayed).  A few hours later the office was closed all together since the Orlando area was deemed to be a vulnerable location should the attack be more wide scale.  I went back to my barren apartment with my dogs Baby Girl and Duck as my only company and a mattress on the floor and a TV without cable as my only luxuries.

I tried in vain for hours to reach Clint.  All cell phones were out, but he was supposed to still be staying in my apartment where the phone line had yet to be shut off.  I was a terrible mess the next day having not heard from him and having to go back to work with all the uncertainty America was now facing.  I finally heard from him late that evening.  His boss had let him off his notice a week early, so he had left on Monday afternoon.  He hadn't told me he was coming early to make it a surprise, hoping to drive through the night and arrive by early Tuesday morning. But had trouble with the U-haul trucks engine and the trailer pulling his truck coming off the hitch.  At first I was upset with him because I had been so worried, but I wasn't alone anymore.

I think the thing that shocked me the most today, has been the lack of hearing about it.  I woke up to the radio on my alarm clock, and listened to the radio all morning (3 different stations depending on where I was) and didn't hear a single word about the signifigance today holds.  I am certain (at least I hope) if my TV had been set to CNN, Fox News, or even the local news rather than nick jr. I would have seen so much about it.  I really hope we, as a country, are not sweeping it under the rug and choosing not to honor the heros and victims of that day in an appropriate way.

1 comment:

m.c. said...

hey cara! i have just been catching up on your blog and i love your writing. i'm glad to find another blog to read regularly. looking forward to seeing you sunday night.

mindy