Saturday, September 11, 2010

It was a Tuesday.

I’m not sure why that part is so clear to me. But I remember that it was a Tuesday.
I had just pulled into a parking space at work, and was gathering up my things from the floorboard – my purse and bag, grabbing my coffee from the cup holder. Listening to the quick news update on the radio.
That’s when they said it.
There had been some sort of accident. A plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center.
My husband had the day off- I woke him with my phone call from my office. Told him to flip on the news – I get very caught up in aircraft casualties, as my father and grandfather are both pilots, and that day, my brother was taking a flight lesson from said grandfather.
As my manager walked in the front door of the bank branch where I worked, she looked like she’d seen a ghost. “A plane…” She spoke in a voice so soft it was nearly a whisper.
“I know!” I answered, shaking my head. “I heard just before I came in!”
“No. Another one.”
It was just after 9am. At that moment, my husband called me back, his voice as stunned as my manager’s. “I saw it. I saw it hit. The second plane, I saw it hit.”
The Pentagon.
Flight 93.
I don’t remember any work other than one transaction that day. I remember gathering in a circle with my coworkers, and a few customers, and grasping hands. Praying. I remember the panic I felt when I couldn’t find my dad, and I knew they were scrambling jets. I remember the cold terror when I couldn’t reach my brother on his cell phone, knowing that they were about to get into a plane that had no radio and only flew using VFR.
J was six months old, and I was afraid. For the first time as a mom, I was truly afraid. We live close to a Naval Warfare Center, and I feared it could be targeted. That something would keep me from getting to my son.
I stayed at work. We didn’t do much, we found the rabbit ears for the little 13 inch TV that they had for us to run promotional videos on. We stared for hours at fuzzy news coverage. And we cried.
And we knew that the world, as we knew it, was changed. In some ways, for the better, because we could see people coming together almost instantly, working to help, to heal. In others, for worse, as we now lived with a coating of fear over each flight, each other, a paralyzing fear.
It was a Tuesday.


  1. I was in the middle of teaching about the Boston Tea Party to my second block of students when another teacher knocked on my door, pulled me out into the hall, and told me. I went back in and had no idea what to say to my class. I remember that one of my students who hardly ever said even a word all year(before or after) yelled out "it's okay, we love you, Ms. K." guess it was obvious I was upset. Sent them off to their electives and then when my third block came in later, having to try to explain to them what happened.

  2. I had just went from my college algebra class and was heading to my English class when they told us to leave campus and go straight home...I turned on the car radio and I just cried I went home and my roomy and I stayed glued to the TV crying..It is a day I can never erase from my memory