Thursday, September 11, 2008

Did You Remember?

I wasn't thinking about it when I woke up this morning. I was focused on my sore throat and feeling whiny, then the newscaster mentioned it was September 11 and I was like "oh, right that's today," because the date hadn't occurred to me.
So I'm home sick. Couldn't fall back asleep, so I was on the couch channel surfing. Hit the live coverage of the ceremony at Ground Zero of the people reading off all the names. Of course that teared me right up.
I moved on quickly because crying when your nose is already stuffed up and your throat hurts is a bad combination.
What did I switch to? The History Channel. First playing "Countdown to Ground Zero," which was survivors telling their stories along with reenactments. Then "The Day the Towers Fell," which was eyewitnesses and photographers talking about the day while still photos and videos were shown.

And Where Were You?
We had just gotten married and moved to New Hampshire that July. But we had been living in Northern New Jersey just before that.
My mom works for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, but in one of their New Jersey offices. She called us (and woke us up) when the first plane hit. Of course, you remember at that point nobody knew what was happening and thought it was some horrible plane accident.
So we ran to the living room and turned on the TV and were just riveted. And we were still standing there staring when the second plane hit.
At some point Hubby had to start getting ready for school. I had just started at the weekly newspaper, that was my first week, but I was part-time, so I was able to continue staring.
I remember us saying how surreal and unbelievable it was. One of the first things I covered, one of my first articles, was a memorial service.
Hubby was living in Montclair when we were dating. For one of our first dates he got together a picnic dinner and we went up to this park on a hill and when the sun went down you could see the Manhattan Skyline and it was so lovely with all the lights. We were like, wow, that's gone.
When Hubby got across campus (we were at a boarding school) I think classes had started, but they got canceled and they brought all the students to one location. At the paper, they had heard about it and had a little bitty TV they were watching.
We have family that works in NYC. And an uncle is a volunteer fire chief just over the border on Long Island, so I figured he'd be heading in. At first I was able to call my mom, but then of course, all the phone lines were jammed and no one was on e-mail. I think it was late that night, if not the next day, when we finally heard all the family was ok.
The school had a lot of students from NY and the NYC area. I remember one student was so freaked out that he actually left campus and started walking and hitchhiking to NYC. We're talking a four hour drive and he was walking. (I will have to see if Hubby remembers how far he got.)
And, of course, all the people at the Pentagon and on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.
And there we were, all safe, if not cozy, in New Hampshire.
And the footage still seems unreal.
So now that I've brought you down, too. I'm going to go hide under the covers and a puppy. Because my throat hurts.

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