Friday, September 11, 2009

Do You Remember Where You Were?

I sure do and will never forget. I was at work at the airplane factory. Large manufacuring complex that I work at. Papa works for the same company but at a different, mostly white collar, complex. This made a big difference later in the day.

Darling Daughter was at the restaurant she manages, opening up and watching tv and she made the first call to me, asking some odd questions. Then she explained what she was watching. I was stunned. Then the phones in my department started ringing off the hook. Family and friends calling into my co-workers, asking if we'd heard. Had we seen. We were pretty much in the dark with no television or radios but we were starting to hear plenty.

I stayed on the phone with DD this entire time, trying to explain to her what she was seeing and describing to me. I was trying to explain it to her because she had called me, her mother, wanting me to tell her what was happening. Wanting me to say, it wasn't as horrible as what she was seeing. Wanting some sort of reassurance that our world wasn't about to end. Trying to explain it somehow to ourselves.

Rumours started circulating around the office that we were about to "go dark". Did I mention we were a fighter jet/bomb manufacturing complex and a "target" on "bad people's radar". So I hurriedly explained to DD what may happen in this case and she was supposed to go to the country house and retrieve FS, who stilled lived at home at the time and was attending high school. She needed to get to her brother no matter what and they needed to stay together with SIL and the pets until Papa or I could get to them. Papa was in a different complex and would be free to leave but I would be locked down since I was in the manufacturing area.

A little bit later we were informed that we were locked down. No one was allowed to enter or exit our complex. The gates were locked and the security guards were increased on each gate. The Air Guard would have been ready on the adjoining complex. That was protocol.

And that's the way we remained until about 5 p.m. We still hadn't witnessed anything on television or heard radio reports. We just had the heresay from the calls we had received from our family and friends. We really couldn't imagine what was happening. It didn't seem real to us until we were able to witness it ourselves later that evening.

It was one of the most frightening days I've lived through. And I was sitting in the Midwest. I was not in New York, or Washington, or PA. I can't imagine the horror those people experienced.

Two years ago, Papa and I and DD and SIL all journeyed to New York and I remember while on Liberty Island, we looked toward Manhattan and wondered what people, tourists like ourselves, thought when witnessing what they did that day. I can't begin to entertain what the people who were closer experienced. Unimaginable.

I'll always remember where I was that day.


1 comment:

Penny-Lane said...

Sounds like you had a very intense experiance. I remember where I was that day...where I was supposed to be. I was supposed to be in the hospital having my daughter...instead they called it off b/c they thought AZ was next. It was like I went to work where we found out that the president of the company along with several other employees where there...and they couldn't reach them. Not a great day, for so many people. It's intense to think about b/c you never know what or when it will happen again.