September 11th, 2007 – 6 Years Later

Today is the 6-year anniversary of the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C..

Time helps to heal wounds but rarely helps us forget the events themselves. Violence is never the answer in resolving issues.

I had the radio turned at work on the morning of September 11th, 2001. The announcer broke in to say there was an explosion in one of the Twin Towers in New York City. One of the first report was that it was a small airplane so I didn’t think TOO much of it at the time but the rest of the story would unfold over the next 2 hours.

The first tower fell and people were in shock. The office had setup a TV for us to watch and I walked in minutes before the second tower fell. “Wow. This is really BIG,” I thought. All I could imagine was that 10s of thousands of people may have just died in this very moment – and I was a witness. This single event would change me forever in some way, I knew it.

The phone lines were flooded. All lines busy as people called family and friends, asking about their safety.

About an hour later they sent us all home. Some were seen running down the hall in a panic. Some were calm and chatting. But we all grabbed our stuff and walked outside to the downtown Columbus, Ohio gridlock. I’d never seen ANYTHING like this before in downtown Columbus. It was bumper to bumper traffic, no one was moving, cars lined up as far as you could see in all directions. By chance, I did NOT take the bus to work today – and it’s a good thing too because the buses were not running for security concerns. By chance, that morning I’d parked my car just outside of the downtown in bohemian “The Short North” neighborhood and walked in from there. Making my way to the car that day, walking faster than the stopped traffic, I was careful to observe the blank, expressionless faces of people in shock. My car was parked far enough outside of downtown to be able to make my way home without  too much problem.

Got home about an hour later at 1pm or so, turned on the computer to find the internet understandably a total BUZZ. I had CNN turn on behind me too. That’s when I got the story about what had happened and who claimed responsibility. All airplanes were grounded. Looking out my BIG picture window up to the sky, not a plane in sight. I got dozens of emails from Spain-based friends and strangers expressing their sorrow, shock, horror.

Throughout the day and for the subsequent days I had frequent episodes of tears and anxiety. It was almost as if I could hear the screams in my head and the pain in my heart as the dead,
grieving souls flew past me on their way to some other place – or no
place – as well as the pain of all those people whom had lost family and friends in those moments. The world seemed so full of pain & fear.

So odd. So strange. So surreal was this day. The world would never be the same again.

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