September 11, 2010


Like you, I'm watching the 9-11 memorial services. Tremendously moving. Especially the poem read by Ms. Epps in tribute to her brother. Opened the floodgates for sure.

But where were you on that September morning? I was at work, across the street from the White House, and remember being pissed when the first fire alarm went off. As we evacuated the building, we all thought that it was a hell of time for a fire drill. We had things to do. No sooner than we returned to the building then we went out again. We heard sirens screaming and saw huge plumes of smoke rising from what we thought was the SW Freeway. Figured that it must have been a hell of crash...a tanker, probably. I tried calling my mother, my source of news, and the cell (as usual) wouldn't work. When we got inside again, calling her on the landline, I learned that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Building.

She called back within minutes to let me know that a plane had also crashed into the Pentagon. She lived in Crystal City, within walking distance of the Pentagon, and spoke of how the building shook. By that time, the order to evacuate came. Talking about a traffic jam. It took an hour or more to just move a few blocks. There was no way that we were going to be able to get home using the usual route. We finally arrived at 17th and E (I worked at 17th and D) and I took the route taking us toward Rock Creek Park. My car was loaded with coworkers who lived in far Northeast or Maryland and relied on public transportation. Everyone questioned why I was taking that route. Because, once we reached the exit for the park, I could maneuver to upper Northwest and get everyone home. It pays to know more than one way home. One coworker, who had worked in that building for 20-odd-years, did not get home until 7 p.m., because she only knew one way home. Unbelievable.

When I reached the home of the last person, I went in to watch the news. We watched the footage in disbelief. We'd thought, when leaving D.C., that these were just accidents and a coincidence that two planes would crash on the same day. To learn that it was an intentional act left us speechless.

Days later, I drove past the side of the Pentagon which had suffered the damage. Unbelievable.

Where were you on that September morning?

Be safe. Be Blessed.


Anonymous said...

On 9-11, I was getting ready for work and listening to the radio. Jammin on some gospel music when I heard what sounded like a bomb go off. Then you heard planes moving at the speed of sound roaring by, I’m not that far from the Capital. Turning on the news, I saw a picture of the Twin Towers burning and the odd looking smoke stacks rolling down the streets. Before I could take in what the news was saying there was an interruption and they talked about Pa. and then the Pentagon. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere that day. I didn’t call work. Nothing. At that moment, I was bracing for another loud sound or bomb to be closer in the neighborhood. I don’t know if I was really thinking death or not. I was trying to process. It wasn’t until latter that afternoon that the news reported that two planes were being sent to the Capital before the Pentagon was struck. When the Pentagon was struck, one of the two planes turned in mid air and went to the Pentagon. The bomb sound was the plane turning in mid air. It was turning faster than sound. The sound was awful. It wasn’t until the next day, that I heard about the traffic jams and utter confusing about giving employees directions to evacuate the city. No directions from Metro. People just running. Knowing not where to run. No buses, trains, nothing. Fear from everyone that you could smell it and touch it. Like my uncle used to say, “Every man for himself, and God for us all”.

Anonymous said...

I worked at a video rental store at the time and was almost always on the late shift, didn't have to be in until 1PM. I usually slept in some, especially when I had worked the late shift the night before. Then I usually got up and began the usual work prep routine, which NEVER included watching TV. I awoke really early that day, and was compelled to turn on the television. What I saw put me in a state of shock. I initially thought I had turned on a cable movie channel by accident. Then I realized what I was watching was real. It was film of the attacks on the Twin Towers. I made it to work, where we played DirecTV all day; by the time I got there the Pentagon attack was being televised. By then I was not only in shock but in fear of what might happen next, and where. To this day every day I catch the train to work, as I go down the escalator, I wonder if it will be my last trip down, even moreso when we have heightened security days. The icing on the cake was the group of plane passengers who brought down the other plane-by the time I heard recordings of what happened before the crash, emotion had taken over...I was already grieving for all those who lost loved ones, and to hear all those heroes fighting to save others brought me to tears. I cannot watch the memorial broadcasts even now without shedding tears.