11 September 2001
It’s already been seven years, but thinking about it makes it seem just like yesterday. We all remember where we were when we found out. My husband was serving our country…over there, somewhere. I was four months pregnant with our first child. I woke up early that morning–before I normally had to get up and get ready. I was working on my Masters and needed to watch a video before heading to work. I turned on the tv and was about to turn on the vcr when the news caught my attention. The CNN newscasters were telling us all they knew as pictures of a tall building billowing with smoke flashed on the screen. All they knew was that there was a rumor a plane had struck one of the buildings of the World Trade Center. They were conjecturing as to how this could have happened. The assumption was that it was a terrible accident. As I was watching the coverage the live footage showed the second plane.
What just happened? I was in shock with my hands to my mouth. My jaw slack in unbelief. My heart pounding, forcing me to breathe heavy. What in the world was happening? As the anchors were coming to grips with what was just broadcast, it was becoming clear to everyone that these were no accidents. I immediately began to wish that my husband wasn’t so far away. Did he know yet? How fast did news reach him? I called my boss and excused myself from work that day.
As events unfolded and planes crashed into the Pentagon and Shanksville I began to wonder where friends and family were. My mother-in-law was visiting friends in D.C. Du’s father and an uncle fly for United. Another of his uncles flies for Southwest. Where were they? Two of my dearest friends were flight attendants. One based out of New York. Where were they? Throughout the day I was able to make contact with everyone, each one of us telling and retelling our stories and expressing our unbelief. Each of us fearing that the worst would happen somewhere else in America as well. It turns out that there was someone from the tiny Western town we were living in that was on one of the planes. Everyone in America is probably less than six degrees of separation from somebody who died that day.