Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11

Unless you haven't turned on the TV or radio or opened up the newspaper or an internet browser, then you are aware that this is the 6th anniversary of 9/11. I'm amazed that it has been six years. It doesn't seem that long ago in so many ways. And the fact that September 11th falls on a Tuesday has really made me stop and remember that day.

I was on my way to Nashville. Normally, I listened to Morning Edition on NPR but that morning I needed a bit of a wake up jolt so I was listening to top 40 radio when they said that they thought a plan had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. At this point they still thought it was an accident and the second plane had not hit. So I turned the radio to NPR. I was driving through the intersection of Winchester Road and Moores Mill when I heard the first report. I listened for two hours while I drove to Nashville as the horror deepened. I didn't see any images until I stopped at Alpine Bakery for my morning coffee, but I don't know that I needed them.

My first class that day was on the prophet Jeremiah with Renita Weems. Dr. Weems had a family member in NYC who worked in the World Trade Center, so she was a bit distracted. The dean of the Divinity school also had a son or a brother in the same situation. And as it became clear what had happened, he put a note on the doors of the Divinity School telling about his relative and his unknown status but also that the school would be a haven for any Muslim students who were afraid of retaliation. Luckily, no one had to take him up on that offer.

The second class that day was the most surreal. The professor was out of town and we were scheduled to watch a video. The class was Third World Spirituality and the video was on the non-violent peace movements. I can't tell you how weird it was to think about Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. on that strange day.

So where were you?


Kate said...

I was home with my youngest. I had gone into the other room and turned on the TV for a minute to check the news for some odd reason. It was also before the second plane hit. I watched until they said a passenger plane hit the tower at which point I had a slight panic attack. My family had just flown home from living overseas two months earlier and I hate to fly.

My immediate thought was of the Columbine killers who had this elaborate plane to hijack a plane and fly it into a high-rise in a big city.

I turned off the TV and stayed off the computer until about 3pm. It was then I found out about the Pentagon and the plane crash in PA.

I remember I talked to you that night or the next day for quite a while. You were shopping in Target. It was kind of surreal.

Jeff said...

I was sleeping. I was in school at the time and my roommate came in the room and said "Andreia just called and she said America is under attack". I was in a daze, but I got up and turned on the t.v. It wasn't more than 3 minutes later we saw the tower collapse. My roommates and I sat and watched t.v. for hours after that. We wanted answers. We just kept saying "this is crazy, this is crazy". I will never forget that day.

Tony said...

I was getting ready for staff meeting at church. Debbi called and told us to look at the TV. We just sat and watched. Soon afterward college students fron Western Kentucky University began streaming into my office weeping. It was a horrible day. One I will never forget.

marty said...

My office at the church was equipped for video editing, so we turned on the TV and people gathered around it most of the morning. Dr. Dill was in Birmingham that day and we gathered to think about what response we should make as a church. Our thoughts were to open the Sanctuary for the night and Katrina, our Administrator called the local televisions stations to let them know we would be open for anyone who wanted to pray. Larry got back later in the afternoon and we had a service that night as well as leaving the Sanctuary open for anyone to come and pray.

I remember how clear, cool and crisp it was that morning. The first hint of fall had hit the night before and it was a beautiful day. But after the first hit, it was the longest day. We watched the second hit and then the first tower collapse followed by the second.

The most surreal part of the day was later that afternoon after all the planes had been grounded. I had to drive to the t-shirt place on Jordan for some event and on the way back, I passed John Hunt Park. And there in the middle of the parking lot, was a man with his remote plane flying it through the air. It felt like sacrilege to watch that small plane fly. The very air that day was broken as we grieved for what man is capable of.

It was a very long day ...

Amy said...

Wow. this is a sad post. with sad comments.

Ok, I was on my way to work, I heard it on the radio as it was happening (the radio station was watching it on tv and reporting it live). I couldnt wait to get to work to call Mike (didnt have a cell phone then!) Then for the rest of the week we were consumed with tv coverage of it. We literally had to make a decision that we could not watch it anymore.

That, and the explosion of the space shuttle were two of many shocking and dark moments that I watched growing up.

Sherill said...

Well, I know it is a bit depressing but it was a sad day. There was more I could have added such as the fact that my apartment was near the Nashville airport and how quiet it got after 9/11 or how I went and stood in line on 9/12 for HOURS to give blood, etc.

But at this point what would have been really depressing is if Jeff had said, "Well, I was in preschool that day . . . "

I think I'm beginning to feel really old!

Amy said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! Jeff probably was in preschool.

Joy said...

I was in Washington, DC 5 blocks from the Capital where my daughter, her 5 day old daughter and 5 year old daughter lived. Their father called from College Park, MD, where he worked, to say the first tower had been hit. Amy called to us as the second tower was hit and said that she was afraid the Capital would be hit. We started packing to go to Maryland. by the time the Pentagon was hit we were out the door. People we walking backwards down the street with their cell phones looking in the direction on the Capital. Taxi drivers had signs in their cars that they were closed for business and headed home. We locked the row house door and left DC behind.

It was a beautiful clear day as we drove to Maryland with hardly any traffic. Time was standing still. Was this really real?