Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Was I?

I was at work, less than a mile from the Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) airport.

I was on chat with Icky, who wrote "A plane just flew into the World Trade Center".

I typed back: "LOL"  I thought she was joking.  How can a plan hit a building that big?

I turned on my radio and found WTOP and listened with horror as a second plane hit, then reports came from the Pentagon, and there were rumors that a car bomb exploded at the State Department, then Shanksville. 

I called my husband, who was on vacation with his parents, who were staying with us and were scheduled to fly home that afternoon.  "Turn on the tv!"  He told me they were watching a movie.  "Turn on the news right now!"  He did and we hung up.

Co-workers ran into my office crying, their loved ones at the Pentagon, or at day care in DC, or family in New York.  They didn't know what to do.  I told them the obvious; go to them.  A co-worker came in and sat down and wanted to discuss some work.  I looked at her and said "Are you serious?  What with everything going on now?"  She looked up and said "I don't know anyone in those places, I guess it just doesn't affect me."  I told her to leave, because I was leaving, going home to my family, and I pitied her for not having a soul.

As I walked out through the lobby, the television someone had set up with a coat hanger for antenna, showed the 2nd tower falling.  I wasn't even aware that people had jumped until I got home and my husband told me.  The airport was quiet, the police guarding a government facility on my way home didn't seem to care that I sped by the facility quickly... I just didn't want to be near it... in case.

That night, the familiar glow of BWI was gone, replaced by darkness and silence.  For once we could see the millions of stars usually blotted out by the airport's lighting.  We felt so vulnerable.

We both lost several co-workers in the attack, none were close, but it didn't matter.  It turned out that we lost more people through friends, and friends of friends, and friends of family.  We ran out of condolence cards and went to the local drugstore for more... but they were sold out.  It took us several stores to find more. 
Never forget.

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