Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9/11/2007


This year 9/11 was a strange time for me. I am grateful to the weather gods for the rainy day because a sunny, beautiful day like today would have been worse.

This year was more difficult because all of the days lined up exactly the way they did in 2001. As you know from my previous post, I lost a friend on 9/7, right before that fateful Tuesday morning. In fact, I had returned home from the funeral the previous night and was still in some sort of haze when the towers came down. Here’s my story of that day.

I was teaching a class on gallery glass at the Armed Services YMCA in Newport, RI. My son was 2 and was in the babysitting room with the other kids. After peeking in the door to see how he was doing, I went into the front office to get something before returning to my one student. I had given her a quick assignment to complete in my absence so she could get used to the process.

When I went up front, everyone was crammed around the television in the director’s office. This never happened for any reason, so I asked what was going on. My knitting teacher and the bookkeeper of the organization quietly said, “One of the towers just collapsed,” just as I looked at the t.v. and registered what they were watching. As my stomache turned, I went back to my student and told her what was going on. We were just deciding whether we should postpone the class when the door of the babysitting room burst open. All of the providers were holding children along with diaper bags and coats with the Director leading the way.

“We have to evacuate,” she said. “Now!” Everyone was told to leave everything, grab their children and get as far away from the base as possible. Those who lived in military housing just went home and hoped nothing more was going to happen, at least not on their base.

The rest of the day was a blur. After driving with my eyes on my rearview mirror (toward base) and my radio tuned into the news channel, I arrived home and put my son down for his nap. My husband arrived after the clinic was cleared of civilians, enlisted members and those who needed immediate care. He is an officer and officers leave last after everyone else is safe. It was a relief to see him.

The following weeks and months were filled with trepidation to say the least. We didn’t know who would be deployed or what would happen next. The good part is my husband stayed in Newport and was not deployed.

What is your story of that day?

I don’t want this day to define me, but I cannot help but think of Lisa and the souls who lost their lives that day. I will honor them each year and, trust me, I will never forget. New York is my city. Though I was not born there, nor did I grow up there, I left home and moved there as soon as I became an adult. I lived and worked there for over ten years and will use any excuse to get to the City. The plaza between the Twin Towers was a place I walked through many, many times, marveling at the odd monstrosities above me that were somehow beautiful because of their purpose. They epitomized the freedom and strength of the United States.

Leave your comment and tell me about that day. May we never forget.

1 comment:

Kate Powers said...

Great blog!

I have a different but similar story since I was working construction in Downtown Boston on a job that happened to be a strategic site to cause mass destruction in the city.

I had just started dating my husband a few weeks before 9/11 and he was activated on 9/12 for homeland security for 2 years.

Now he is on a special opps mission in Baghdad for the next year.

It is hard to explain to our 3 year old why Daddy is not with us right now.

Thank you for the opportunity to share.