Where Were You?

I was always the first up & at 'em in my house as a teenager. I got up at 6:00am every morning to get the first shower. I wanted the hot water. I was willing to sacrifice a little sleep for a hot, hot shower. And, in typical teenager fashion, I spent an hour & a half getting primped & ready for school. The kicker was having to take gym my senior year because I kept putting it off. Genius move.

This morning was no different. I got up & got ready. My mom was up early getting her bags packed because she was heading to Washington D.C. to meet with Diane Feinstein. #namedrop I remember the sunlight streaming in from my parents' sliding glass door in their bedroom. It was a sunny, California morning. Typically, one of the tvs was on in the house, but this morning, it was quiet in the house. Then the phone rang. It was my Grandaddy. "Where's Susan?" "She's getting ready to go to D.C. Why?" "Turn on the news." 

I remember the next few minutes like it happened this morning. Time stood still. We stood with our jaws on the floor, feeling such pity for the poor pilot who accidentally hit Tower #1. How could this have happened? It was a beautiful, clear, cloudless sky. Then, we watched, as if in slow motion, as the next plane slammed into the second tower. The weight of what had happened hit my body & I sunk to the bed. We were under attack. Our country, America, the super power, was under terrorist attack. It was one of the first times I ever felt scared of living here. We lived in a town an hour from any major cities, so we were relatively safe, but the thought that we were no longer safe was terrifying. Then we watched people, scared out of their minds, jumping. It was one of the worst things I have ever seen. I will never forget the tears streaming down my face, as these helpless people had to make the choice to burn or jump. How do you make that choice?

I don't know how I made it to school that day. The gravity of what was happening was overwhelming. My mom cannot get anywhere on time to save her life. An ironic statement because she could have been on a plane, at the airport or in D.C. if anything had changed that day. I sat in class & cried. We all did. It was weird, creepy, terrifying. Why we had school that day is beyond me. Most of our classes were spent watching the Pentagon get hit, & just waiting for L.A. to get hit because that was what was being reported. We were next.

The days following were a whirlwind. Clean-up began. You know. You watched it. In disbelief. In fear. Then GW stepped up & vowed to make them pay. And we stood together as a country, broken-hearted, ready to avenge these deaths, avenge the terror that we now felt.

Every year is a sobering reminder that we aren't invincible. Every year since is a privilege & honor to still call America our home.

Never forget. United we stand.

Where were you? I know you remember. It's like our parents remembering where they were when JFK was shot. We'll never forget the moment our bubble was popped.


1 comment

  1. I will never forget that morning, it was traumatic on all different levels. I heard the news of the attack on the radio as I was getting ready for school. At first, I thought it was a radio prank because I could not believe my ears. On the way to school that morning, my little Toyota Paseo was involved in a crash with a Suburban. My car was totaled and I earned my first, and hopefully my last, ride to the ER in an ambulance. I remember watching footage of the towers falling after I had been admitted to the hospital. It all seemed unreal to me. Twelve years later my body has healed (the only visual reminder I have is a funky looking right thumb), but I can't and don't want to forget the impact of that day on our country.


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