It was time to rouse the children, just after 6:00am. I saw the first plane hit the towers. Frozen I did not know what was happening. Then the 2nd plane hit. Husband knew it was terrorists – my brain switched off. I heard possibly 50,000 died. I could not compute it. 50,000. The horror of it! Men, women and children. I could not stand to watch, I could not stand not to watch. People dropping over hundreds of feet. The towers fell. People fleeing the clouds of what? Covered in cement dust, helping each other, leaning on each other, half dragging each other.
As our minds focused we were riveted to the screen as a 16 year old girl sobbed for her mother asking where she was pleading “I love her so much”. As if love would find her. Another young woman sobbed for her sister, they had been estranged, no time to reconcile, and where was her sister? No answer, eternal silence. Estranged siblings and family members all over called and reconciled.
Business was paralyzed; the country stopped and fell to its knees. The bravest of all ran into imploding buildings to save others, many of those heroes died. If not then, later. Pictures of the missing and loved ones were nailed to posts, pinned on boards “Please have you seen …”
The world responded, compassion poured in, the French President said, “Today America was struck, today we are all Americans”.
At night the navy sent up planes they criss crossed the sky all night. All other planes were grounded. We heard of the miracles. The mother delayed to buy her child a muffin, the tourist who forgot his camera and went back to the hotel to get it. They were the lucky ones, if luck it was, or blessed.
Children drew pictures expressing their grief. The Red Cross was front and center. Doctors, counselors, firemen and others from all over the county, even the world volunteered their services, begging to lend their help. Dogs searching the burning rubble needed leather shoes.
At a prayer meeting, women began singing an unknown spontaneous lullaby type song as if to comfort the babies who passed.
Jessica a 2 yer old was traveling alone on the plane that went into a field. The preacher at her memorial wondered of anyone held her on the ride down. Captain Rose was driving by the Pentagon, he saw the explosion and run to gather what he could. He caught a hand. A child's hand. Thousand of brave brave souls passed, some had willingly signed up for the military, some were conscripted that day. Men, women and children, all warriors they.
And the country wept, and weeps still today.