The first thing that comes to mind is the still photograph on CNN, of the impact site on the first tower. In the background we could see another plane headed in the same direction; then we knew it was more than an accident. I was working at Children’s Hospital on the 6th floor. When the second tower was hit people started to get a little crazier saying it must have been an accident or something. When Sheila came screaming out of her room “They’ve bombed the Pentagon!!!” I remember thinking that she had to be crazy… the Pentagon has to be the most secure building on the planet… no way could then bomb it. But, the smoke we could see from the window confirmed her story only a bomb could make that column of smoke so big.
The phones in DC lit up, everyone was trying to call someone to check on them. They hospital sent messages asking everyone not to use the phones cause the government needed them. That didn’t stop people, I did manage to call my hyperventilating mom, and my clueless friends who were busy at work and not watching the news… Midwest Work ethic!
People were in tears, freaked out. Some people didn’t understand the impact at all and asked “Was her kid on the plane? If not, why is she crying?”
Everyone was sent home early, they said on the news not leave your house if you didn’t have to. I and probably the rest of the nation then watched the two towers collapse on live TV. Then the images were put into cycles, they would show the crash over and over again. It became a little more than disturbing.
There was a caravan of tow trucks inching along the road near the pentagon, each one of them had a flag shown proudly honking their horns as they drove past. The huge black spot marring the surface of what I had assumed would never be marred, the Pentagon. The firemen near the Pentagon, the military in the streets of DC that appeared from nowhere. Acts that seemed entirely too childish or silly; banning french fries from menus, gathering on the front steps to say the Pledge of Allegiance, saying it was God’s way of punishing us for Gays and liberals.
Mostly I look back and see those images in my head and start to tear up. Today I can’t do sirens well… everytime I hear them or see an emergency vehicle of some kind I start to tear up; its probably some kind of PTSD. I don’t want to forget though, I never want to forget the images and feelings associated with that day. I don’t want you to forget either.