ue I'm More Than Just a Mom...I Think: A Day of Remembranceu

Saturday, September 11, 2004

A Day of Remembrance

I sit here with MSNBC on, all the names of the people who died three years ago being read aloud by their loved ones. Parents and Grandparents are reading names and each list ends with them reading the name(s) of the children/grandchildren that they lost. It's very moving. As moving as it can be with a toddler and 8 year old wrestling and yelling, I suppose. I cannot imagine their pain. I don't know how they go on, I really don't. They are strong people. I wonder if I could ever be that strong and I hope that I never have to find out.

As everyone can, I can remember everything about that day. I was 6 or 7 months pregnant. That's always the first thing I think of. I was driving to work, listening to Howard Stern as usual. They said in passing that a "small plane" had hit the World Trade Center. Not really a big deal, probably some weirdo in a single engine plane. Weird, I thought, if I thought anything. I'm not sure I really thought much of it.

I got to my desk and attempted to tune in Stern again, as I did ever morning, but with not much luck. Finally, I got it in and heard that a second plane had hit and everyone sounded much more concerned. My boss walked in and I said "A plane hit the world trade center and I think a second one did too." I turned the radio to a news station and listened as everything unfolded. The report of a bomb going off in the Pentagon. "Mark, a bomb just went off a the Pentagon, this is getting serious," I said to him. He has a television in his office, so he turned that on so we could follow what was going on.

I was back at my desk, trying to get some work done. At this point, there wasn't really discussions of being at war or terrorists, it was still a mass of confusion. "We've now confirmed, it was another airliner that struck the Pentagon". Jesus. What was going on? We're in Maryland, about 30 miles from the Pentagon. It was starting to happen close to home. "Mark, it was a plane that hit the Pentagon!" "Yes, they say it's a terrorist attack. The WTC buildings are on fire now." I kept rubbing my stomach, talking to Zack.

The phone hardly rang that day, except for people calling to see if we had heard. I had maybe one business related call. Dave called me at some point to tell me they were closing his office and he was coming home.

"Cathy, get back here now - the building's collapsing!!" I ran back there in time to watch the first tower falling. My heart sank. I just couldn't comprehend what I was watching. I didn't move from the chair in Mark's office until he told me to go home at 12:30. There were calls letting me know that Cassie's school was closing early. That's when Mark told me to go home. But before that, I watched the second tower fall. I couldn't stop thinking about how scared those people must have been and hoping that they didn't feel any pain when they died. Especially the people on the planes. Can you imagine how terrified they must have been when they realized what was happening? I will always remember that one of the trade tower planes carried a family. A mom, a dad, and a little 3 year old girl. Zack is almost 3 now. I'm certain that mommy was holding her little girl when they died and I have to believe that they felt nothing because it's too horrible to think otherwise.

I remember walking to my car, rubbing my stomach and telling Zack that I was sorry he was going to be born during a war because I really felt like we were at war at that point. I picked up Alex from daycare and was surprised to see their TV's on to the news and the kids watching. Alex ran to me and told me that two planes had crashed into buildings in New York and lots of people died. I held him tight, told him I knew and I was very sad.

Cassie got home from school a bit confused. She didn't understand why people were so upset about buildings collapsing. She didn't realize there were people on the planes and in the buildings.

So, here I sit - watching the memorials and the speeches, still in shock that this happened. After three years, I still can't comprehend that it did actually happen. 3 months before the attacks, we were driving through NYC. David wanted to stop and see the World Trade Centers. I said "nah, not this time - they will always be there, we can go another time".

But they wouldn't always be there. How were we to know?


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