Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Ago

I was home on maternity leave with my youngest child. My two oldest were at school, and I was cleaning up around the kitchen. I had NPR on in the background, but wasn't really listening.

It was about 8:35 am. The phone rang, and it was our new au pair, a young woman from Austria, who had arrived in New York the day before and, after orientation, would be flying to us that Friday to watch our children when I returned to work the next week.

We talked briefly and I hung up the phone. All was well.

As I was working in the kitchen, I heard something on the radio about a tower, and then something else that led me to believe they were talking about an attack on the West Bank; but I didn't really hear the story.

A few minutes later, probably around 9:00, I remembered I needed to talk to my sister, who worked in Manhattan at the time. I dialed her cell phone, and when she answered, I said, "Hey! What's up?"

There was a brief silence, then she said, "Uh...haven't you heard?"

"Nnn-no...what?" I replied cautiously, alarmed by the tone of her voice.

And then she told me. And I rushed to the radio to turn it up, and there it was.

I called my husband immediately after, and he had just been watching the news on television at a customer's house.

One of the things I remember in particular that really struck me was the sound of Bob Edwards on NPR's Morning Edition saying, in a very un-Bob-Edwards, very emotional voice, practically yelling, "Oh my God, the tower's coming down! It's coming down!"

Where were you?


Anonymous Zeek soliloquized...

I was in Pusan, S. Korea. (11 hours ahead of you all.) I had just switched over to CNN after watching a movie and saw the second plane fly into the towers.

I had to call home right away, just to hear my families' voices.

Scary time and sad ...

Monday, September 11, 2006 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger Heather Harper soliloquized...

My husband was home from work and we were living in St. Cloud, Florida. He was playing the piano. Our television was off. My mother-in-law called to give us the news.

My husband has not played the piano since. We ending up selling our piano to a church.

Monday, September 11, 2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Alyssa Goodnight soliloquized...

I was alternating my attention between my two-year-old and The Today Show. When the first tower was hit, I couldn't believe it. I kept thinking they were doing some computer-generated stuff or showing a movie click, and I'd missed the intro for it. I watched for hours after that, in complete shock.

Monday, September 11, 2006 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Gypsy soliloquized...

I living in Baltimore, and I was at work, and when a co-worker came to tell me what had happened, I couldn't grasp that there were people in the buildings. Surely there couldn't be.

Monday, September 11, 2006 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Annie soliloquized...

It was my day off and I was at home being lazy and playing with the dog. Since I worked at the bar at the time and had to stare at 3 TVs throughout each shift, I rarely turned on the TV on my days off.

But people started calling me around noon to tell me what happened. And it took a long while for it all to sink in, even as I sat down at the TV and watched the footage over and over.

At the time, my sister worked at the park where Camp David is and I remember being really scared for her when they talked about the plane that crashed in PA was possibly heading for her.

Monday, September 11, 2006 2:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Holli Bertram soliloquized...

I was at work in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I heard people in the hall talking about a plane hitting a building but it didn't really register. My husband called me, told me about the first plane. I wandered out of my office, shell-shocked as the rest of the lab. Most of us went home to sit in front of the television. One of the oddest feelings I remember having is when they stopped all plane traffic. I went outside, stared up at the empty blue skies and listened to the birds chirp. I could see my children's elementary school from the yard. So quiet, so peaceful when I knew the world was changing around me.

Monday, September 11, 2006 4:10:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Smith/Ila Campbell soliloquized...

I was in Seoul, S. Korea (funny that Zeek was in S. Korea, too) putting my kids to bed. My husband was watching the Korean news in the other room and yelled, "Get in here! A plane hit a building!"

I got into the room and thought it was a movie he was watching. They showed it about three times in a row and then switched to live footage and then I saw the second plane hit. That's when I knew it was real.

What really stands out in my mind was when they said it was the work of Muslim extremists, I thought about how a witch hunt for Muslims was going to start in America. While there have been some incidents, I'm very proud that the harassment and persecution of innocent people in reaction was nowhere near what I imagined.

Monday, September 11, 2006 6:50:00 PM  
Blogger Nonblond soliloquized...

We had just moved into our new house in Pennsylvania. There were boxes all around us--tons of stuff to be done. All we could do is sit and watch the news in disbelief. It still hurts to think about it.

Monday, September 11, 2006 8:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Tammy Kearly soliloquized...

I was working for a large-ish daily newspaper at the time. We all went to the newsroom where TVs were always going with the news channels. At noon, the publisher called everyone to the lunch room and said we were going to put out a special edition with all the new that could be gathered by 4:00. We'd run it at 4:30 and our staffers would stand out on street corners in busy parts of town to hand it out for the 5 o'clock traffic. I myself stood on the steps of the paper's offices until 7 or so as people heard about the edition on the radio and were driving over trying to get one (we gave them away, free, of course). The dazed look on everybody's faces (these were mostly people who'd been working all day and had only heard about it, not seen any of it) as they saw the cover picture, is something I'll never forget.

Monday, September 11, 2006 9:50:00 PM  
Blogger Colleen Gleason soliloquized...

Thanks to all for sharing your stories. They're each so different, and moving in different ways.

I hope we never have to live through something like that again in our lifetime, but I am sad to say I doubt that will happen.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 9:09:00 AM  
Blogger Nicolette soliloquized...

I was working at the Michigan Humane Society, and a co-worker came into the cat room (where I was cleaning) to tell me about it. And I remember telling people about it as they came in to adopt. I'm not sure they believed me, or believed I'd gotten the details right.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Carl V. soliloquized...

Such a sad, amazing, awe-inspiring and devastating picture. I remember the NPR stuff was one of the things that resulted in my turning around once again and going back in the house of one of my many attempts to get to work that day.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger MaryF soliloquized...

Heather, it breaks my heart that your husband never played piano since, and I don't even know you!

I'm a teacher, and I was teaching music. I had a Pre K class, and the nurse came in to turn on my TV (we had cable in the classroom.) She stared at it (she'd turned it so the kids couldn't see) and then walked out, saying, "Something's happening in NY." I had to wait till the kids left before I could see, and and all I could see was smoke rising from lower Manhatten. We watched all day. I remember when I came home and watched, with my kitten on my lap, and they announced that over 300 firefighters and policemen had died in the collapse. That was unbearable, unthinkable. Still makes me cry.

Friday, September 15, 2006 7:37:00 AM  

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