Sometime during the 8.00 hour (central time), I got a call from Mama. She was crying, and I couldn't really understand what she was saying. Something about turning on the tv, they'd hit the towers. I spent a minute or so trying to figure out what had happened, then she urged me to just go turn on the tv; we said our I love you's and hung up.
I ran upstairs to our bedroom, turned on the tv, and watched in horror. Both of the World Trade Center towers were burning. I'm sure many of you relate when I say I was transfixed. It was horrific to watch, yet it was impossible to tear myself away. There I sat, for most of the day, my precious children (3 months, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years old) wandering in and out. I let them watch or leave the room as they wanted, and did my best to give them what information I had in whatever doses I thought they could handle. Few days in my life have seen more tears travel my face.
This moment, when the first tower started to fall, is when I first started to realize that my world had changed forever:
Another moment of the day that is forever burned in my mind took place in the early afternoon. I'd talked to Jonathan and was still hoping that he would be able to come home early. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but not too warm, and our bedroom window was open to the breeze. I heard a car door, and hurried to the window. It was our townhouse neighbor, Jose. His wife Marguerite ran out to meet him. Again transfixed, I watched as they embraced and sobbed together. Two immigrants, from two different countries, mourning this great loss for their country. More tears fell as I wept with them.
A memorable moment from a week or so after the 9/11 attacks...
We were stopping with friends at a fast food place connected to a truck stop. The truck stop is one of those that puts up the biggest possible flag that they can fit on their pole, and like all U.S. flags at the time, it was flying at half mast. As I looked up at the well lit flag in the night sky, I noticed how worn it was. Ripped and torn, yet enduring. I was again overwhelmed by grief, yet also filled with hope that our country, too, tough ripped and torn, would survive.
Here are a couple of my favorite post-9/11 songs:
This one has bits of the footage that some folks would like us to forget. I pray we never do.