Day of Remembrance

Posted by: Lisa,

So many thoughts run through my head as I try to write something about a day 10 years ago that I will never forget. Thankfully, other than a little bit of fear at not knowing what would happen next, I was not personally affected by the tragedy and did not lose any immediate family or friends.

I can very clearly remember the blueness of the sky, and I'm reminded of September 11th often in late summer which is really the only time of year that the sky is similarly blue. I had never realized that before.

I think about the number of people who's day had started out so mundane, like mine that day, and then ended up inside of a war movie. If only it was just a movie or a bad dream.

At that point in my career, I had been working at Verizon Wireless, my first job after college, for just over a year. I had actually just visited the World Trade Center in June 2001 as a tourist. The company had a policy that employees could take 2 training classes per year. I always chose courses in NYC because I could take mass transit, and there was always time for sightseeing. It made me feel independent to navigate the trains, subways and streets on my own. That day had made me think of the time when I was in the 5th grade. I was on a class trip and had wandered away when the rest of my group had gone back down the elevators already. It was rainy that day, and I was wearing a raincoat, so the kids had been asking where the girl in the raincoat was. I was found and reunited with my group. Back to the June visit, I remember I did not buy the picture because it's just a picture of you next to a picture of the towers. I often wondered how long they keep those pictures and if a picture of me had burned to a crisp when the towers fell....

So, Tuesday morning, September 11th had started out as a very ordinary day for me as well. I had done something that I had many times done (and continue to do today!) - I left my company ID at home. VZW had just implemented stricter policies, and the security desk had given me a particularly hard time that morning - I was angry.

I finally got to my desk and had booted my computer, and I was probably considering heading to the cafeteria to grab breakfast soon. One of my coworkers came over and told me a plane hit the World Trade Center. In my mind, I thought of a big building and a tiny plane. It seemed like hearing about a bad car accident. Still, it piqued my curiosity enough to make me want to take a look on TV. So, my coworker and I headed downstairs.

I got to the cafeteria, and a lot of people were watching the TVs. I saw the size of the gaping hole in the first tower, and I found out that it was actually a passenger plane that had flown into the tower. I thought, how could this happen? Then, the second plane hit. Shortly after that, President Bush was on TV telling us that this was a terrorist attack. I had never really thought much about terrorism before, other than I thought maybe Times Square could have been a target during the New Year's celebration for the year 2000. I know now that this means that cowards with a lot of time to watch porn plan the deaths of people who never did anything to them and get people with nothing going for them in their lives to believe they can die gloriously for a cause by carrying the plans out. I'm not saying that the USA is an innocent country and that our government and individuals have never done anything wrong to other nations or people. But the individuals who were targeted in this attack were just ordinary people, like myself, trying to work for a living and feed their families and make their dreams come true. Wars should be fought by armies on battlegrounds - not in office buildings against civilians.

I think that by the time my mom called me, the Pentagon had been hit as well. All planes were ordered to land. Many people I worked with stayed at work and worked a normal work day. My mom wanted me to come home. My boss was ok with it.

As I drove home, I was a little scared. I knew if I saw any planes in the sky (I did not) they were not supposed to be there. I was also wondering if the offices of major cell phone providers would ever be considered targets by the terrorists. I thought, probably not. They were looking for things with more symbolic meaning. I made it home without incident. Then I was updated on the towers' collapse and on Flight 93 in PA with the heroes on board who had prevented another building from being destroyed.

Anyone can destroy. People should spend their time and energy trying to build something wonderful - not tear other people's creations down.

In the days after 9/11, I spent a lot of time watching TV. I was hoping for stories of rescue - people trapped in rubble that were going to be pulled out by the many volunteers that arrived to dig through the devastation. These stories did not exist (despite the outrageous rumor that someone had miraculously "surfed" down as one of the towers collapsed.)

Every year, I watch the documentaries and the memorial ceremonies on TV. It always strikes me how long it takes to read all of the names. It's interesting to me that entire wars and Veterans' Day is commemorated in brief, 15 minute events and then everyone goes on with their lives. September 11th is remembered in a multitude of ceremonies all day long and the documentaries play on TV for weeks. I know that this is because this is all still new and fresh in our nation's memories. I wonder if there will ever be a time when September 11th becomes a day like Memorial Day - a quick, sparsely attended parade followed by a barbecue...

Anyway, there's really nothing I can write that can capture the pain and sorrow and suffering of that day, 10 years ago. I am just hoping that I have written something good enough so that I can look back on it and remember clearly how I felt that day.



MelloLisa's Daily Detritus is personal blog that I update with entries about my life as a computer geek and amateur musician. If you have any questions or comments, please email me!

"True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us." - Socrates

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