Sunday, September 10, 2006

a day that will live in infamy

ok, i know, wrong day. however, since most of you know what i'm talking about (9/11), think on it. Pearl Harbor was an act of war, during a declared war, and most of the casualties were military. I know, people still lost husbands & wives & sons & daughters, but they were soldiers. Soldiers die.

This, however, was different. These were 3000 innocent people, just doing an honest day's work, in their place of work. On a typical monday. 3000. and what's truly frightening? There were supposed to be many, many more people there. I've heard countless stories of "my train was late" "i was sick" "i decided to take a day off." divine intervention? dunno. i used to read a website called "witch's vox" that stated that they had a cat who always stayed in a doorway when the "energies" were off. that cat was in the doorway when they arrived, and refused to leave it. i think the energies were off that day.

5 years. have we changed? are we stronger? more unified? more caring/loving/compassionate? i wonder. i saw a headline in our local paper that said the effects of 9/11 were waning. I don't see as many flags out. I know where mine is, and it WILL be out, even if i have to jury-rig something.

what were you doing?

I worked at a nuclear power plant in the kitchen in the administraiton building. My boss had the only radio that would function in that location (a deep valley near the river), and he came out and told us a plane had hit the world trade center. like many, i thought it was just a piper cub, or some such small, pleasure aircraft. until he came out again, and said another plane had hit. and that they were 747's. i called my friend who didn't ahve to be to work until later, and she told me she'd watched the second plane hit, on a morning show. everyone was stunned. and on that day, the radio we kept in the kitchen for playing cd's got crystal clear reception. It was like listening to the world end, and wondering if i would make it home to see my kids again.

being a nuclear power plant, as soon as the second plane hit, security went into overdrive. one of our vending guys had shown up to refill the machines in the protected area (where the actual reactor is), and security called to verify he was supposed to be there that day. they NEVER did that, until that point. while i was used to seeing side arms on the security guys (and gals), they were popping up all over hte place with AR15's and shotguns, and they closed the campus. no one allowed in without an ID, and a company based one at that. we were hammered for lunch, because no one had their id's with them. who knew.

and because we had the only working radio in the admin building, people were coming to me (the cashier) for updates. when the pentagon was hit, i was almost in tears. then the rumors that the white house was on fire. who is doing this, i kept wondering. why are they doing this. this is worse than the oklahoma city bombing by a long shot. i'd been told that the reactor could withstand a direct hit by a commercial jet, but with the airport being a scant 20 miles south, i feared the worst. yeah, the reactor would survive, but would hte rest of us? and then they downed all the planes.

i was eternally grateful to be out of work that afternoon. i got home, and found my then 15 year old with the tv on. i made her turn it off, because liam & sean would be home soon, and i wanted to shield them from it as much as i could. we'd lost my dad & grandma eariler that year, and all i wanted to do was protect the little guys from more trauma. while they knew what had happened, the pictures were just too traumatic for me, and i was 35 years old. can you imagine the devastating images' effect on 9 & 7 year olds?

and then the amazing stories of hope, and survival, and rescue. and the fact that there weren't as many dead as they had thought. and the men & women of the NYPD & NYFD, and the Port Authority police, who gave their lives to help others. and some of them are still giving.

all i could think is how my dad would have reacted. i could hear it, and still can. "those lousy sons of bitches."

i lit a candle that friday, as they had asked.

a friend of mine, who had lived in maryland at the time, said that there had been all kinds of black vans driving around in her area before the attack. her son was so traumatized by it all, that they moved back here. she had a friend whose husband had been on the 108th floor of tower 2, i believe, and was on the phone with him when he died. she was so traumatized by it, she tried to commit suicide by drinking drain cleaner. she survied, at great emotional and physical cost.

everybody knows someone who either lost someone, or actually lost someone in the world trade center. we are not excepted from this.

this tragedy must not happen again. although it may. somewhere, someone has decided that we in the western world are evil, & corupt, and thinks that Allah wants us all dead (read the Quran, bozo, you'd learn a few things). but we need to hang on, and not let them beat us.

which is why, while i may not agree with what is going on across seas, i support the soldiers who are fighting for us. those of you who don't live in the area, don't know that a local meteorologist from a local tv station signed up for the national guard right after 9/11. he shipped out last week. and he's doing it for us.


KnitAbout said...

boy you went right for the jugular on tha tpost... my Seann was on the east coast visiting his mom who was undergoing chemo for breast cancer. He was due to fly out fo Boston THE NEXT DAY. Whew. What if... Sam and I had driven 5 hours upto Portland to pic him up at the airport the enxt day. That morning the phone kep ringing (we were staying at my mom's house). I ignored it and finally got it. It was Seann. I saw the sceond plane hit. lIke everyone else, I had no idea if and when it would end. It was near sam's birthday and a party had been scheduled. I didn't want to have it. My mom did. We got into a fight about it and so I left without my husband with my little guy, five hours back down the road. Seann's mom drove him up thrugh Canada and he caught a Greyhound somewhere in the midwest. I got him back about 6 days later. We went to the mall and got Yankees hats and these AMerican flag dogtags out of some little machine. I never even sang the national anthem before that as I am (they tell me) a gen x cyncical one.

I don't think we should be in Iraq. At all. I think it's completely fucked. And I don't think it has a thing to do with 9/11. And I think Bush is a complete moron. But I do supor tthe soldiers and completely respect their intent. But I don't hink they knew what they were getting into when they signed on.

I'd like to see some change in this country. And nothing excused the terrorist attacks. They shoudl be brought to justice. I can't beleive they pulle dit off. But then I can.

great post.

..the package came. Thought you'd want to know. Pics to come. I love it.

Happy wedding.


Janine said...

I remember watching the whole thing unfold form the other side of the Atlantic. It was much later in the day here and the BBC kept us well up to date. I remember going in to my boss and telling him about the first plane, we pulled up the CNN internet newfeed and watched as the second plane ploughed in. I cried.
I'm crying now too. Things haven't changed, I missed being caught up in the 7/11 bombing in london by a week, to the day, to the hour, to the very tube train. It makes you think.....