Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mel's Story: Where were you on 9/11?

On a hill.
I sat in my car, rocking it back and forth as I mindlessly toggled the clutch and the accelerator. On a hill, I waited for the red light to turn green.
That’s where I heard the news break on the morning of September 11, 2001.
I was actually on an errand for work. Back in 2001, I was a Marketing Coordinator at a large golf company. We unexpectedly ran out of printer ink but needed it right then, so I ran to Best Buy to get it. The events that happened that day cut a knife through my mundane day.
I think I flipped from my CD to the radio. I’m not sure anymore. Yet there’s so much about that moment that I remember so vividly. I heard the fear in the radio DJs’s voice. A morning show typically full of crass humor and bad jokes became so serious that it made you sit up a little in your seat, uneasy because they became stone cold.
Shaking, I drove back to the office. We were glued to our computers. To the radio. To anything that could help us wrap our headers around what was happening. 
I remember refreshing CNN’s website over and over. People bogged down the news sites though so I click, click, clicked. I kept clicking the refresh button, hoping for a glimpse of good news and instead getting horror unfolding before me.
And then something struck me. My cousin was visiting DC and was supposed to meet up with my sister later that day, who lives in Northern VA. At the time, we didn’t know what exactly was happening and how many more attacks there’d be.
After an hour or two, I learned my cousin wasn’t near the Pentagon being a tourist, but that my brother-in-law worked down the street and saw the aftermath. My old college roommate happened to be in the bottom of the second tower when the plane struck but she was okay too. While 9/11 didn’t strike anyone I know tragically, my eyes still well up when I think about that day.
I remember the eerie quiet of planes not flying overhead. I remember seeing people jumping out of the windows on TV. I remembered the news reporter running for her life when the first tower crumbled.
I remember the memorials. And the images. And the breathtaking terror.
It’s a day that, when my kids are old enough to ask me about it, I’ll let out a big sigh and gaze out the window, pondering exactly what to say. Like a vet may do when you ask him about the war.
And I’ll feel both happy and sad that they don’t understand the magnitude of that day. To them, it’s a part of a story they’ll read about in history books. To me, the numbers 9/11 will never look the same.
Melissa is the proud mama to two boys born on the same day, three years apart. She blogs about motherhood and capturing the everyday on her blog Adventuroo and blogs about blogging, writing and social media on Momcomm. She also just released her first eBook, the DIY Blog Critique.

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