My dad talked about it like it happened yesterday. He was down the block at the deli helping the owner shelf loaves of bread, white bread to be exact. He remembers that the TV was on in the store backroom. The owner never had the TV on. All the sudden dad saw a rush of men go to the backroom; he tried to stop them since they weren't allowed in there. He remembers standing amongst those giants as the suddenly turned white, their faces fell, as the heard the news that President Kennedy had been shot.
Interesting story but there is no way that I would have, or want, a story like this to tell my children or grandchildren. Nope, those kind of things just don't happen. You see, attacks are just something we read about. It happens in countries too far to reach. That is just the way it is. And to tell you the truth, in my little bubble, I am perfectly OK with that.
But somewhere, someone, decided that I would remember just where I was, what I was doing, and what I would do after it happened. Can't say I want to thank them for that memory.
I was home and not working. At the time I spent my days sewing purses to sell for our adoption. We knew there was a baby somewhere far away waiting for us. I spend days giddy with anticipation for her arrival.
The phone rang. I can't even remember who it was. Are you OK? is all I heard. OK, yup -- sitting in my living room and eating breakfast - why wouldn't I be OK? I turned on the TV and saw Peter Jennings and the second plane hit the towers. Nope, not happening in my country I thought - this must be some TV prank. Then they crumbled. I heard the number 50,000 shouted across the screen. Still not happening in my country. I refuse to believe it! I watched, I listened, I shouted - why!
Then word came that the Pentagon had been hit. One of my longest friends, Alison, was newly engaged to Dave, a Jack Bauer or sorts -- who worked in the pentagon. No one could get in touch with him. No one knew if he was OK.
The phone rang all day. Someone told me they were sorry that a plane hit "my city". You see I am from Long Island. But really the planes hit in three seperate places while striking the entire country at the same time. People called to say - I love you. Really, does it take a plane hitting a skyscraper for that to happen? I waited to hear from my friend in MD. And I did. All she had was an email - "I'm OK." it read.
I didn't loose anyone on that day. I live in Georgia -- there were no planes flying overhead, no curfews, no people protesting places of business. My life went on as normal. Or did it? Someone stole a bit of my innocence that day. They tarnished my faith in people. That is something never fully repaired but slowly returned over time.
I will remember where I was that day. I will tell my children and their children that story - over and over again. Because while they might not understand now, I do not want them to forget.