Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11 - Five years later

Many people say they remember it like yesterday; I don't. In the five years since I have gotten married, had 3 kids and bought our first house. Then I was single and working. It was not yesterday.

But I remember the events very clearly. Since I was working as a teacher in a remote city it was hard to get weather reports for the area. The only channel that reported on the weather up there was ABC. It was early and I turned on the news for the background noise and to make sure there wasn't a weather incident that would affect traffic. That's when I saw the burning building. The angle showed a bridge so I assumed it was San Francisco. I woke up my then fiance to tell him the news and worried about a friend we had in San Francisco.

It was shortly after that when it was reported as being New York and a plane had crashed into it. Very little information was being reported so I assumed it was a little Sessna, one of those two-seater planes. I became very sad for the family of the pilot thinking that a life was lost that day. Little did I realize that many more lives were to be lost that day and all of our lives would be forever changed.

I was still at home when the second plane hit. It was then that people began to realize the gravity of the situation. We were under attack. These planes had been hijacked. I told my fiance that he wasn't going to classes that day since Loyola Marymount was so close to LAX. After all, who was to know how smart these terrorists were. What if their next target was LAX and they missed?

I quickly got ready and headed to school early. As a teacher of kindergarten and first graders I was very concerned about giving them answers and comfort while their parents headed downtown to work. It was on my way to work when Tower 2 fell, and Tower 1 fell shortly after that.

I was devestated, crying for these families. Thousands and thousands would be grieving that day. It reminded me of WWII where an entire generation of boys was depleted. I expected the number of dead to be at least 10 thousand. I thought is was a miracle when only 5,000 were discovered dead. I was glued to the television set for days while the rescuers dug through the rubble. Only one person was recovered alive. Few others were recovered whole, mostly it was parts and pieces of people.

I fully expected it to be the beginning of war on our soil and of more terrorist attacks to come. Of course there was the crash at the pentagon and flight 93. But it has been 5 years and not another attack on our soil. Yet each low flying plane still causes me to pause . . . .

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