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September 11, 2006

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CmdrSue

I still worked in DC as of 9/11 and was on travel as a trainer in Kansas City. The first phone calls after talking to my husband were to confirm to my parents that I was not in the city. The lines in Northern Va were already down so we couldn't reach my brother in Alexandria all day. I found that I could call in to DC but my co-workers could not call out, so I started relaying messages and trying to coordinate who needed to call whom. My boss's son was away at college near where the last plane crashed so she was anxious to hear from him. One of my fellow trainers knew that his Dad was supposed to be in the Pentagon that week as a contractor but couldn't get through to anyone to confirm whether he was there that day.

Believe it or not, we resumed training on September 12th. We didn't know what else to do.

Since flights were canceled indefinitely I kept my rental car and set off towards home. My husband and sister met me halfway (Ohio) so that I could drop off the rental car for someone else to use and we could go home together. In another moment of attempted normalcy (for us) we hit the Ohio Rennaissance Faire that weekend before heading home.

It turned out that my co-trainer's dad was ok, so that was a relief. But after getting home the stories kept coming in. Although not directly affected myself, I don't think I could count the number of people I talked to who lost someone in their family. One of the students in my husband's biology program lost a cousin in the WTC and an uncle at the Pentagon.

Never forget? No, I'm never going to forget. But I refuse to use that day, that week, for hate. I've never seen people pull together more than that week - be so open and caring for each other. The world became very small as we all wanted to give and get comfort. When I turned in my rental car I found out that the kid checking it in grew up in the same small Virginia town that my Dad did. Strange little moments like that littered the week. I assume that those synchronicities are around me all the time, but I'm rarely looking for the divine serendipities that weave the tapestry of human existence. That week I needed to see them. That week, while we were all still raw and honest and brave, I was deeply, deeply proud to be an American.

Daisy

"But I refuse to use that day, that week, for hate."

Beautifully said, CmdrSue. If only more people across the world could think like that.

pam

I agree. Thanks so much for writing, CmdrSue.

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