- before the second plane hit,thinking that first plane was the ONLY plane and it was a freak accident.
- the complete and utter confusion and failure to process or comprehend the enormity of what had happened as the events unfolded.
- being unable to move. I was at my younger kids’ schools, scheduled to volunteer, and I could not, would not leave the building. I was told I could leave, take my kids home, but I couldn’t move. I needed to be near my kids but I didn’t want to take them home yet.
- the young teacher who came into the media center (the only place in the school where a television was on- a kid free zone) and kept uttering “Oh my God!” while she reached blindly behind her to hold onto a chair that was not there.
- calling my husband at work (in downtown Chicago) and asking him to please come home and hearing how trains were filling up as fast as they pulled into the station.
- my mind racing in so many different directions, running through my list of friends, family, anyone who might be in New York City, Virginia, Pennsylvania.
- a picture that 5 year old Andy drew of a plane crashing into the Sears Tower (the only skyscraper he knew).
- the deafening silence outside when I left the school building to walk to my car. And the silence that continued for days, even weeks….
- the anxiety that grew inside me each time I saw a plane in the sky. For months I would stop and look up at any plane, just following its path until it was out of sight.
- being glued to the television screen, overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and grief, anger and helplessness.
- watching the news stories about first responders traveling from all over the country to help, more casualties being added to the ever growing number and wondering when it was going to end.
- not leaving the house unless absolutely necessary.
- the fear, ignorance and hate that was fueled as a result of the attacks.
- crying every time I heard the National Anthem.
- And when I visited New York City for the first time ever four years ago, I visited the 9/11 Memorial. It was still incomplete, which only made it more so moving and powerful, such a testament to our ability to heal and work together to create a living remembrance commemorating all of it- the lives lost, the lives forever changed and what it meant to each and every one of us.
What do you remember?