Asleep at home when my Mom called, said a plane had hit the World Trade Center and to turn on the tv. Said it seemed like a pretty big deal. I was so tired after working late at dispatch, I told her it's happened before, not that big of deal. Went back to sleep, then my husband called. I said, I know, Mom already told me. He said, no, you need to go turn on the tv. Right. Now. Ok okay! Sheesh, all I wanted was another hour of sleep!
I turned on the tv and we just sat in silence for 5 min. watching it together, while he was at work, and I at home. We finally hung up, but I was transfixed until 2p and I had to get ready for work. I watched the second tower live. I watched people jumping for their lives from 80 or so stories as they tried so desperatly to escape the terror, heat and pain. It was incomprehensible. I had never heard or seen anything like it, but I had the thought that this was how my grandparents must have felt when they heard about Pearl Harbor over the radio in 1941.
When I got to VECC we all re-lived our experiences. we were just starting to put the whole thing together. The other attacks, the casualties. The destruction. It was so quiet. No calls, no talking on the floor. The air outside was still. No airplanes, no one was driving. I'd never seen the city so empty in appearance. Everything just...stopped.
Then afterward, the flags! So many flags! I loved seeing one on every car, door and shop front. People were nicer, for a time. Everyone felt like we knew each other as family. The survivors. We had forged a bond in tragedy. And though we may have gone back to our lives. Our daily routine. And the flags are down most of the time, barely brought out for the holidays. But we will never forget it.