It was a beautiful sunny day
Days and weeks after I would always want to ask anyone I met where they were when they heard or saw the news and how it unfolded in their lives. I even thought for a brief moment that I should make a collection of everyone's responses and keep them forever, I never did. I also did not ask everyone I met because I felt like I was asking something so personal and so real and it really wasn't my business.
Yesterday, at the end of mass, we sang America The Beautiful. As soon as the song was announced tears immediately welled up in my eyes as the anniversary has been top on my mind. I could not sing a single word, but I paid special attention to the lyrics, which are so appropriate for the day.
Here is a portion of one verse:
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
Five years ago I had a dentist appointment scheduled in Chicago. My appointment was for 9:45am. I still have my appointment card that said September 11, 2001-9:45am. Written when September 11th was just a normal day. We had a two story apartment in Indiana, Brian and I were going to drive to Chicago together, (he works downtonw.) I was upstairs getting ready, Brian was downstairs watching TV. I came down for a second to ask when Brian was going to start getting ready, at that moment I saw the TV while still on the stairs, Brian said a plane crashed into the World Trade Center, we were watching the Today Show. I remember asking him why he didn't tell me. I can't remember his response. We did not have too much time to watch, I just thought about how serious the crash was. A small plane entered a building where people worked. How would they battle the fire? How many people were killed. I had no idea how huge the plane really was. I knew nothing. We left and turned on a news radio station in the car. We were in the car for the next hour listening to every detail unfold, the second plane, Shanksville, the Pentagon. As we entered the parking garage the towers had fallen. It was horrifying. As we drove the streets of downtown Chicago, everyone was talking on cell phones, people were everywhere and constantly they were looking up at the sky. While we were stopped in traffic, we had a perfect view of the Chicago skyline, I was certain a plain would hit the Sears Tower. At one point a saw something in the sky and I gasped, my heart sank...it was a bird. I was on high alert.
I arrived at the dentist's office and learned that they were evacuting downtown Chicago. I offered to reschedule the appointment, they said no, they would take me and go home for the day. I remember sitting in the chair thinking about how much I dreaded this appointment and how uncomfortable I was and how little it was compared to what thousands of people were going through at that moment. After the appointment, I picked Brian up, we drove home listening to the radio. Shocked, hurt and so sad. It was here that I learned of people in foreign countries celebrating what occurred on our homeland. I felt so much anger towards these people. I worried about my brothers, were were active (and still are) in the military, at their Army bases with their wives and kids. We returned home, on our answering machine was a message from my mother-in-law, making sure Brian was okay. She also wanted to tell me that she was praying for my brothers. That made everything so real to me. I talked to my sister-in-law and she told me about things that had occured during that day at the Army base and that scared me, too.
The entire day was so strange. Cable channels were off the air. For days there were no commercials. That night my friend came over and we went and picked up pizza. At some point I attended a prayer vigil, I'm not sure when. When I laid down for bed that night I prayed that the nation would remain untouched over night. I was certain we would be attacked again. I have never felt so unsafe, I can't imagine living in a war zone.
Five years later, still remembering and forever heartbroken.