September 11, 2008

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

I was on my way to work and 6 months pregnant when I heard a plane hit the WTC.

"How did the pilot make THAT mistake?" I thought.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that someone.  ANYONE would do something like this.  It did not even cross my mind.  Even when I arrived at work and my coworker (Stan) said another plane hit the other building, I thought "Damn, twice?  How could that happen twice?".  I really didn't think it could be an attack.  But as the morning wore on, it became quite clear that is exactly what it was.

Our office was right outside Dulles Airport and the rumors on the TV had us going crazy.  Our admin rushed to Circuit city to buy a bigger tv and antenna so we could watch the coverage, but as the news people repeated the rumors that there were planes missing that had left or were headed for Dulles, we all went a little crazy.  They sent us home.

So I got in my truck and headed west towards Leesburg, down the 2 lane highway of Rt. 7.  And sat in standstill traffic.  "Hmm, if we ever have a big evacuation of the DC area, this road is going to be awful", I thought.  I had been speaking all morning with my husband.  He was declard "emergency personnel" and not allowed to leave work.  Now that is scary - being forced to stay in a gov't office when gov't buildings are under attack.  Scary for him and for me, wondering if at any moment me and my son would be without him.

I went home, and like everyone else, watched the coverage on the TV and began to hear stories.  It was hard to concentrate because family was calling to check on me and the baby as well as where was my Hubby and why wasn't he allowed to come home.  Then calls to find my best friend's sister, who lived right near the WTC in NYC.  But as the phone calls stopped and I could focus on what I was seeing on TV, the disbelief.

So many people missing.  So many people in anguish as they searched and hoped.

I hope we never have something like this here again.  I will back any measure necessary at any security checkpoint if it's goal is to keep me safe (and the measure ACTUALLY does keep me safe - banning fingernail clippers is a bit ridiculous - even I could stop a terrorist armed with fingernail clippers).  Want me there 5 hours before my flight because of more intense searching? FINE.  Want a background check and fingerprints before buying a plane ticket?  FINE.  When they make me take the 2 babies out of their double stroller and all take all our gear out of it so they can swab it, FINE.  Keep me safe.  Keep everyone safe.  That is a good goal. 

To our armed forces working to keep us safe every minute of every day, I thank you.

To the people hurting today, just as much as that day 7 years ago, I am so sorry.  We cannot let this happen again.

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