my words on september 11, 2001

I started writing on the Internet in 2003. It wasn’t until the year after my daughter was born that I started writing about September 11th. Before she was born, I just dealt with the memories on the inside. Since then I’ve realized that some day I’m going to have to talk about all of this with her. Not only am I going to have to explain the historical events, but how that day affected her mom and dad. I’ve been changed forever. Will my words change her forever?

Even though I wasn’t writing online back then, I was active in an online forum. I had stumbled upon this group of people who discussed all kinds of things: politics, life, food and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Really, what more could you ask for in online friends?

They were the ones I spent most of the day with on September 11th. I was alone in my office. News websites weren’t loading. TV reception was horrible. I needed to know what was going on. I needed to talk to other people. Thankfully, they were there, looking for the same things.

Those words are locked as our permanent archive of that day and the day after. Ten years later, I checked to see if they were still there and was transported back to my desk in an office building on 17th and K.

My thoughts are scattered throughout multiple conversations about different topics, but I’m going to try and pull them together for my own historical record. I’m not going to edit them too much for grammar or context. I hope they aren’t too disconnected. They obviously make sense to me. Ten years is a long time, and even though I feel like I remember everything as if it was yesterday, there are details that I don’t want to forget.

I’m in DC. I’m stuck downtown. a few blocks from the White House. it’s major gridlock. my co-worker’s husband works at National. we are getting scary reports of another hijacked plane. I’m shaking. it seems like dream. I’m so glad you all are online. I can’t get through to CNN, MSNBC, nothing. we have the news on, but there are so many rumors. stay in touch!

I’m still stuck in DC. things are quieting down. gridlock is over. most places are closed. I’ve got a ride out around 3 pm. checking the forum and watching tv until then.

I can’t figure out what this underlying feeling is that I have. I think it is anger. I’m really angry. angry at people who would do this. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this before. and I don’t know where to direct my anger. I want to cry, but I can’t.

a friend’s son is in school right outside of dc. they are staying open normal time. trying to keep some sense of normalcy for the kids. only 4th graders and up have been told what has happened. I think this is a good thing. knowing how numb I feel right now, I can’t even imagine the panic a child would feel.

ok, I’m signing off. the mayor has ordered people to evacuate DC so I am catching a ride and will wait for my husband in maryland. good luck to all.

low tech weapons? they used a plane full of fuel! where did you all hear about the box cutters? scary. I heard on the news an interesting comment, that made me take pause. we live in a country that is very open. we don’t want security cameras on our street corners, we don’t want a military presence on our streets. as a result, we are vulnerable to these types of attacks. but would you want to live under tighter security and give up other freedoms?

jeesh! how can we can protect ourselves against attacks like this? we are still waiting to hear about two more family members in NYC. all day at work I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to be home and watching this on tv instead if it happening down the street.” now that I home, I feel emotionally exhausted. I am so grateful that my husband and I are safe. thanks again to all of the wonderful people on this forum. you’ve all had a very grounding affect on me today. I really appreciate it.

I’m back in DC today. 17th and K. it feels bizarre. things look the same but don’t feel the same. the guy who plays the violin by the metro is still there. same homeless people hanging out on the corner. the woman who sells krispy kremes on the corner is still hollering “donuts for sale.” the perimeter around the white house is 18th and I, so I know I am close to things. I don’t ever pass by the pentagon, so its images on tv feel just as unreal as those from new york. I don’t know how to explain it. I just feel flat. deflated. sad. we heard from our cousins in new york. they are safe. thank god!

ok, I take back what I said earlier today. I just came back from lunch and there are humvees on every corner along with the National Guard. I don’t know how I am going to get any work done.

more evacuation in dc: apparently they evacuated the street down from me (16th I think) around 4 pm because of a bomb scare. I didn’t even know it. a coworker just called me from the street saying it’s crazy gridlock with tons of police down there. how did I not hear about this for two hours?

I finally began to release when I saw the guy from Cantor Fitzgerald. before then I was in such a state of denial, nothing seemed real. but now, it is really starting to sink in. I cried a lot last night.

Those words aren’t the only ones I’ve avoided for the past ten years. Downstairs boxed up in the basement with other miscellaneous stuff from our house in Maryland are three magazines — Time, New York and The New Yorker — dated September 24, 2001. Magazines that were purchased, but never read. I think it’s time to get them out. Time to honor the heroes and victims within those pages by reading their stories.

This is going to be a tough week.

3 Responses to “my words on september 11, 2001”

  1. Lisa says:

    If I just give you a gigantic hug the next time I see you, you’ll know why.

  2. [...] was also working on my annual September 11th post. It feels weird knowing that when I combine blogs, words like this will be mixed in with a t-shirt [...]

  3. emily nash says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It connects us to each other, we were all somewhere and yet we were all in the same place. Your words are important for me to read and know and remember.

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