Tuesday, September 09, 2008

9/11 Minus One

The actual day 9/11, as I mentioned in my post below, 9/11 Minus Two, is a day that shall haunt my mind forever.

I worked at the time for a major hospital, working for the Assistant Medical Director. I was headed to meet with her when I was told she was in the conference room. Entering I found her watching the TV in the corner. One tower was smoking...it had been hit by an airplane. We sat there around the conference table, joined by other department personnel, and watched as the 2nd tower was hit. Disbelief struck us all completely silent for long seconds, except for the collective gasp as the plane struck the 2nd tower.

We were all simply drained of reaction. I can more than understand President Bush's initial lack of a visible reaction. The moment froze us in our places. His mind must have been going as a furious pace.

Then suddenly, it was completely clear to me...as it probably should have been from the moment of impact #2......"This is an attack!"

My mind reeled, and I literally almost shouted it out loud. The good doctor, my boss, looked at me with a stunned look, and then said, "My God...can it be true?"

Word filtered back as we all sat there for hours......The Pentagon was hit....Flight 94 was down in the fields of Pennsylvania. The twin towers fell one-by-one, and people fled a field of smoke, gases, and rubbish for blocks around the towers. Today, as I remember the images, I cannot, for the life of me, remember the exact sequence of events.

I truly expected more. I thought it had begun a series of events from which we would never recover.

I left her office, and I left the hospital. I went home, and sat in front of the TV as rumors, and reports flew like chaff in the wind. President Bush was bound for Colorado; no, wait, for Washington.....etc.

The rest is a blur. I, somehow, instinctively knew this was the beginning of something which we, as a nation, would be bound to follow up on, and quash. The visions of the idiots in Gaza dancing and celebrating. The public comments of world leaders, as stunned as were we.

The pictures of the smoke covering New York, and covering miles downwind.

No These pictures will not be lost to my memory forever.

Tomorrow, I write of hope, and direction from a leader.