I cannot believe that tomorrow will be the 4th anniversary of 9-11. The horror of that day will never leave me. I can still remember images and words that were spoken that day as if it was yesterday. I see it all including myself as if it is a movie playing in my head.
I got into work early as usual and as I was sitting at my desk, co-worker Gregg was hanging up the phone, he said aloud to no one in particular, "Jenita just called and says something has hit the World Trade Center." I pulled up one of the local news links on my computer and was watching the footage of what was happening. The North Tower had a huge black cloud of smoke spilling from it, my boss came up behind me to talk about work and I told her what I was looking at. As we watched in horror more people were starting to arrive and before I knew it there were about 8 people standing behind me watching my computer. As we were watching and discussing we the South Tower was hit. I remember turning to my boss and we exchanged a wide eyed gaze. It was quickly obvious that this was not an accident which is something we had been thinking after the first plane hit. The office chatter was feverish and panicked.
I remember listening to a radio with a group of co-workers when we heard that the Pentagon was struck. I happened to look around the room I was standing in and noticed the fear and look of helplessness on various faces. There were some people hugging, some crying quietly, some trying to reach family members on the phone, some sitting on the floor holding their heads and trying to comprehend what was happening.
I called my husband to find out where he was and he told me that he was heading to his parents. He also said, "this is Osama." I had no idea what he was talking about and was just glad to hear that he was safe. I was with Bernadette and her son AJ when the South Tower fell. We were huddled together at her work station. Her arms around her son, mine around her and her son's around both of us. She kept saying, "oh my God, all those people." We cried together as AJ asked each of us if we were ok. I will never forget Bernadette or AJ. We clung to each other when our world was changing. The world we knew was no longer. Fear and panic was clutching my heart and I just wanted to be home with Joe and safe.
I was asked to sit at the switchboard for a moment as the higher ups tried to figure out what to do about the situation. My boss walked by as I was drying my tears. She asked me if I knew anyone in the towers. I told her "lots, and lots of strangers." She said, "oh my God you are right." We hugged.
Our President called a meeting telling us that we were closing our doors so that everyone could go home to be with their families. She said that if anyone felt they were unable to get home safely to tell someone and arrangements would be made.
My buddy Bek, offered to follow me home. I told her that she would be going out of her way but she said she wanted to make sure I got home safe. I will never forget her kindness and unselfish gesture. At a time when I felt that the world as I knew it was falling apart and would never be the same what I did notice that day was that there are people in this life that you can truly count on. People really do care about people. We get caught up in our own lives sometimes but in times of need and when it really matters we can turn to our fellow man.
I am still disturbed, angry, and sad when I watch a 9-11 documentary on television or when I read an article, see a picture or even think about that day. I thank God that I did not personally know someone who perished that day. The amount of grief I have for strangers on that day is hard enough. September 11th will for me, always be a day that America was attacked but it will also be a day that I saw true patriotism as Americans come together as a nation under God or whomever you wish to pray to that is up to you.