Thursday, September 11, 2008


It is a beautiful day today, but not quite as gorgeous as it was in 2001. That was a fabulous morning. I spent about 15 minutes walking around our then acre+ yard, enjoying my flowers and the flawlessly beautiful September day. The sky was a brilliant blue. The air was crisp, but with the promise of a warm day. I remember feeling energized and ready to get busy on all kinds of things.

I went into my office to check my email and turned my radio on to WLS to listen as I did every morning. A couple of minutes after I turned it on, they broke in with a report that a plane had hit one of the towers of the world trade center. They thought it was an accident with a small plane, but I decided I would go turn on the news to see if there was any more information.

I turned on the TV and went and grabbed a cup of coffee. I came back in and sat down just in time to see the second plane hit the other tower, live on FoxNews. After the plane hit the Pentagon I went upstairs and woke up Bethany, who was 15 then, and Patrick who was 11 and had them come downstairs with me.

We spent the next several days mostly glued to the TV. We worried about family members and friends who were traveling. We walked out side of our house, which was in the approach path for O'Hare and felt the bizarre stillness as no planes passed overhead.

I think that day was a wake up call for many of us. It was probably the first time many people my age felt unsafe. For many of us it was the first time that we considered that evil from overseas could affect us here at home.


elephantschild said...

I remember the quiet, too, and how very still the skies were in the days following.

I was working in an architecture office in 2001, and the first plane hit while I was getting ready for work. I didn't go turn on the TV because I figured it was a freak accident, and a small plane. Then second plane hit.

The Pentagon was hit while I was commuting into Milwaukee, and I started praying for President Bush. When I got to work, my boss raided his attic for extra TVs and set them up so everyone could see one from their desk. We all watched in horror as the buildings came down, first one, then the other. We all knew intimately, from studying building code, that fire can indeed "melt steel."

Erin said...

We were living in Connecticut in 2001 while my husband was on vicarage. The sky was so clear that when he did hospital visits that afternoon, he could see the smoke rising from the Towers in NYC.

AmusedMomma said...

Good post that captured the innocence of a nice day and the uncertaintly that followed.

Dakotapam said...

I remember that day too, we had just moved to a new house the day before, and did not even have cable yet. I heard the news as I drove to the grocery store for toilet paper. I was 4 months pregnant or so, and was seriously questioning what kind of world I was bringing yet another child into. My safe world was forever destroyed.

Uvulapie said...

I was fixing a pipe in my basement and heard about the first plane as I was pulling into the hardware store parking lot. Huh... weird. When I got home with the part I turned on the TV and saw the second plane hit. Still digesting what I saw (and because the house still needed running water) I fixed the pipe and received a burn of solder on my right pinkie which is still there, a reminder of that day.

Tracey said...

I was on the phone with a service rep, and A, almost 4, was watching something on PBS Kids. The rep suddenly said "Oh my God" and went silent, and then started almost screaming. She told me what happened. I had to chase A into another room so I could turn on the TV; B, not yet 2, was not yet awake. A snuck back in and saw the plane hit the tower and was really concerned but not upset, and started playing with something and not really watching, so I watched the broadcasts all day.