A break from our normal programming

September 11, 2002

I woke up on September 11, 2001 like I always did, listening to talk radio. We recently had a policeman murdered and they were on the phone with his mother. I drove into work and went to my office on the second floor. A co-worker of mine called me to see if I knew what was going on. I didn’t, so I ran downstairs to our media room and turned on the TV. I saw one of the towers in flames. We talked about what a hell of an accident that was. Then the second plane crashed. We were shocked, nervous, upset. We watched for a while, and then my Mother called and said that a tower “exploded”. She was talking about the collapse of the tower.

We struggled as we watched people running from a giant cloud, we were shaking when we started seeing people covered with ash. We would hear about how a truck bomb crashed into the Pentagon�only to find out later that it was another plane. We got really shaken when we started getting calls from friends and loved ones about how x was now being targeted. I imagined that there were dozens of planes in the air going toward D.C. and all points. In the back of my mind, I didn�t expect the White House to still be standing by the end of the day. I didn�t expect the Sears Tower to be standing, and I didn�t expect that a plane went down in PA.

We tried to get work done, but most of my work involved calling New York, Montreal, Atlanta, and anywhere else long distance. I updated my weblog and went looking around at the videos. I tried to help as I could. I immediately added an American Red Cross banner to my work site. We just wanted to do what we could. We were directed to “get back to work” by our CEO, while the other facility had a group session and prayed.

Niki called me from her job in the mall and said that a rumor was going around that all of the malls in America were going to be attacked and that gas prices were going up and supply was low. After the call, I went out visited an ATM, a gas station, and a restaurant…. all had long long lines. People were starting to panic. We all thought that every major building in the U.S. was going to have a plane crash into it. Then we started to hear about how the FAA grounded all of the aircraft in the United States. The LifeForce helicopter, at the hospital I work at now, was grounded and couldn�t take off unless the FAA approved.

I worked into the early evening and after the boss left, most of us went back down to the media room and watched the coverage. We saw the #7 building fall, we watched some more of the footage. It just became tiresome. We started hearing little bits locally, through the EMS channels, that a state group was being put together. My friend in the office next door and my business partner in safetyplace.org received a call that he would need to be prepared to travel to the Atlanta area with his mobile healthcare van, if Atlanta was attacked. That hit a little more toward home.

I left work and went to Niki’s house and watched the rest of the coverage. We just sat and talked about all of this and worried if this would start a war. We watched that first strikes into Afghanistan, not knowing who was attacking whom. We also wondered, “Who’s Next?”. I’m still shocked that, aside from the whole Anthrax scare, we haven’t been hit again.

I left about 10pm and just turned off the radio and drove through the backroads enjoying the silence. It was really odd driving at night and not seeing an aircraft. I finally got home and just started surfing the web again. I found a police radio site and listened in to the traffic from the NYPD. At that time, they arrested some �suspicious� men near the George Washington Bridge. I just listened and heard that no matter how these people where effected, losing friends and family or just the stress of the whole thing, they remained professional. They still spoke with calm voices and did their job.

I got tired of that and flicked on the TV�I was so tired at that point I don�t know what channel or what talking head was speaking, but then they started talking about the other sites. I started to hear about what they believed was a passenger uprising in PA. Then I started hearing stories about the Pentagon, and the people who lost loved ones. Then I started hearing that Barbara Olson died in the Pentagon crash. It was just not the thing to watch before I went to bed.

But I woke up the next day and I was still alive. New York, Washington D.C, and the rest of America were still there. They�re still there now�.

The point of this single post is to honor, in the only way I know how, those who died in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania and to honor those who are fighting to recover from this horrible event.

My posts from 9-11-2001 are below.

Links

MetaFilter circa 9/11/2001

Slashdot circa 9/11/2001

PapaInk: Children’s creative responses to the events of September 11, 2001 (Link from Amy’s site )