On September 11, 2001 I was entering the 3rd week of my new job. My job was in the town where I grew up and still lived. Washington, DC. I had worked downtown for years, at opposite end of the block was my old job. One of the best things about the location on 16th Street was coming to work and seeing the monument come into view every morning . I got off the bus each workday and looked down the street at the White House, just a few blocks away. It is a wonderful view. On that day the weather was lovely and the views clear. I was sitting in my cubicle covering my assigned time on the phones when one of the other program assistants came by my desk and said: A plane flew into the Towers in New York. Really? I tried my best to recall the look of the Towers, a symbol all Americans can easily conjure up today. Still uncertain about office protocol I didn’t get up to go view the news. See I worked in the Communications department. There were two televisions in our common area that stayed on CNN all day. Shortly after her first announcement the program assistant came back again. Another plane hit. So was it the smoke from the other plane crash that caused that? No. They think it was on purpose. That it was an attack. She took me around the corner where just about everyone in our department was assembled to look at the horror unfolding before us. The media had all sorts of reports coming in. Some thank God were incorrect. Others held truth no one wanted. The state department had been hit. There was fire at the old executive office building. At the time these report would later prove false but at the time were considered facts. These locations were in walking distance of my office and soon it was clear to all of us. We were no longer safe in the city full of what represents America. I remember going to look out of an office window and seeing smoke billowing up in the distance. Fear hit and I gathered my things. I only wanted to get away from downtown, and get my son. I felt I would be safe at home, also in DC but not far from the Maryland state line. By this time the Federal government had evacuated thousands of employees from its offices. Outside the streets were crowded with people. Traffic was thick but the normally busy bus route on 16th street had disappeared. With no choice I began to walk north on 16th street away from the White House. Strangers stuck their heads out of car windows offering rides to those of us going their way. I was unable to get a ride and had walked several miles before a kind cab driver going to Maryland picked me up. He would take me as far as he could. When he heard I was trying to get my child, he insisted on taking me to my son’s school. He said he was also going to pick up his daughter. It was important to him that I got my son. He did this at no charge to me. I arrived at my son’s school where to my dismay he was watching the replay of the planes hitting the towers on TV. The teachers couldn’t resist seeing what had been reported. This was so new to everyone they never thought of how this would impact the classroom of third grade children. I called to my son, took his hand and walked out of the school and directly to McDonald’s. I wanted him to think about anything but what was happening. By this time military planes were flying overhead. A sound I would get used to. Years after the attack military fighter jets guarded the city and you could hear and see them all day and night. (As I am writing this from my home in Gaithersburg I have heard that familiar sound for the past two or three days.) We got home and I turned his TV to cartoons. He was only eight and didn’t need to feel the fear I had. Especially with his birthday the next day. Mommie I thought you were dead. He would tell me later that day. For us, our family and friends no one was lost. But it didn’t stop me from mourning. I mourn every time the anniversary comes. I pray for the children, spouses, parents and friends that lost so much. I pray for the surviviors that witnessed so much. I pray for our nation. I pray for the military. I pray that we remember and never let it happen again. He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it. ---Seneca the Younger You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. ---Psalm 91:5-7
5 Responses
  1. Hello Analisa!

    Thanks for visiting "My Heart Speaks..." nice to meet you!

    Wow, I really like your story because it's from a point of view that I've never heard! I was in Virginia visiting my family at the time and my husband was back in Japan. When I called him saying, "Baby, are you alright? Please be careful!" he replied, "Larie, you're the one in the states right now!"

    I was so not thinking, but he had a very good point. Congrats on beginning to write your novel.


  2. Analisa: I remember that day, too, and hope we never forget it. I pray for our nation, that she will turn to God, not expect men to solve her problems.
    Thanks for joining my blog today. May it bless you as you seek to write for Him,

  3. Great post. That day was so scary and I hope nothing anywhere near that ever happens again. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  4. Analisa Says:

    Thanks Jeanette. You are so right, nothing but God.

  5. Analisa Says:

    Thanks for your comments. Your blog is one of my faves! How is Punk?