Friday, September 11, 2009
"Just as sure as the turning of the Earth..."
I remember that day very well.
I was at the beach with my parents and my sister's family for the week. I woke up that morning hearing my Mother turn on the small TV in my room. "Time to get up," she said. "Look! Some dummy crashed a plane into the World Trade Center! Can you believe that?"
The first plane had already hit the North Tower, and none of us really gave it too much thought I guess. Just another crazy ass day in New York.
Walking into the kitchen I sat down with my niece, who had just turned four, and I poured a bowl of Lucky Charms. My nephew was sound asleep in his crib not quite a year old. My Dad was reading the paper and my sister and brother-in-law were watching The Today Show. Interestingly, even the news treated the burning North Tower as a gee whiz kind of story going back and forth to it with weather and politics.
And then the second plane hit the South Tower.
"This is terrorism!" my sister screamed.
Then reports of the Pentagon being hit came on the screen. A bomb the media first reported was detonated inside our military chief headquarters, but then it was revealed not a bomb but Flight 77...a third plane.
"John," my Mother said tearfully, "what's going on?" My dad glared at the TV. "I don't know," he said.
Then there were reports of another plane. Another plane? How many planes did these guy's hijack? Who are these people? But this plane crashed in a large field in Pennsylvania. Why? What happened? Where was it going? The White House? The Capitol? And probably the most important question Are there anymore?
The rest of the story is just like yours. I watched people burn to death. I watched a man and a woman hold hands and jump out of a window hundreds and hundreds of feet up. I watched the Towers fall. I watched brave men perish. I watched my Mother and Sister cry. I watched my Dad go out on the deck and stare at the beach...
...but that's not all I remember. I remember this on TV too.
I remember seeing people celebrate, laugh, dance, smile and burn my flag on TV. 3000 of my own people were dead and this is what I'm seeing. The media quickly went into gear calling this a knee-jerk reaction.
Lost that whole day was my niece. She didn't understand what was going on...hell who did? She knew something bad had happened and that's why we couldn't go to Jungleland to go play minature golf today.
My sister tried to explain what happened.
"A lot of people were hurt and killed today, do you understand?"
She shook her head yes. "Did all the people who died today are they all going to heaven," my niece said.
"Yes, yes they are."
"Then everything is OK Mommy."