I remember that day 12 years ago.
I remember listening to the radio as the reporter told of a small plane hitting the World Trade Center. And, then hearing about the second plane crashing into the towers. I remember walking into my bosses office to see if he had heard what was happening. We were all stunned.
I remember sitting around the radio trying to find out what had happened. The computer systems were crashing from everyone attempting to stream live feeds from the news programs. We heard about the Pentagon crash and then the fourth plane crashing into a field. We heard the rumors and tried to imagine what was happening to our world.
I remember the announcement that our building was closing for the day and we should all go home. The garage was a madhouse as all the drivers attempted to escape. It took a full thirty minutes for me to exit the garage. Even with the extra traffic of businesses shutting down for the day, the streets were strangely subdued.
I remember going to the bike shop where my husband worked and trying to call the schools where my children attended. Were they closing? Should I come and get my children? After number attempts and busy signals, I was told that we could get our kids if we wanted. Our daughter was in elementary school. She was told that they could not play outside because the ozone warnings were high that day. She was mad when I did get her from school. And, then I explained what had really happened and she was upset for a different reason. The Junior High where my son attended allowed the students to watch the news as it unfolded on the television screen.
I remember seeing video of the planes that were grounded all over the United States. Plans were changed in an instant. People were stranded in odd places, destinations delayed indefinitely. Regional airports that were capable were inundated with the large jet liners. Many people made other arrangements for travel to avoid getting on an airplane.
I remember our President standing before the country during this emergency. He was the voice of calm and reason.
I remember our country uniting that day. Churches were filled during those days and weeks of turmoil. People were looking for assurance, for calm, for peace. Differences were forgotten and we all stood together as Americans, at least for a time.
I remember when fear came to reside in our country. We were no longer safe from intruders. We could no longer trust. Lots of things changed that day twelve years ago.
I remember September 11, 2001.