Monday, September 11, 2006

It's hard not to stop and reminisce about where you were 5 years ago when you first found out what was going on. I was at Ivy Hills. We, the maintenance crew, had just finished preparing the course for the Ladies Member-Member (or Member-Guest) tournament. We were gathered in the shop getting ready to leave when the Super came out of his office.

"My wife just called. She said someone flew a plane into the World Trade Center.", he told us all.

As we moved into the break room to turn on the TV, I figured that some poor guys was drunk, out of control or suicidal and flew a Cessna into one of the towers. We turned the television on and the picture came up showing BOTH towers smoking. That didn't make sense to me. How does one plane hit both buildings, and apparently from different sides? Then they showed the replay of the second plane slamming into the tower. Oh.

We had just missed seeing it live by no more than a few minutes, maybe even just a few seconds. My first thought was that the Palestinians had figured out a way to hit us over here. We raged over what should be done to those responsible, and I am still NOT satisfied with what has been done. To sum it up, we have B-52's; let's use them. But I digress...

One of the guys was a volunteer fire fighter in a township just up the hill from where I live and occasionally in my little burg. At some point he mentioned the idea of all those firemen and police going into the buildings. Looking back, it seems almost prophetic.

I went home and watched the events unfold. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the first tower fall. Neither could Peter Jennings, the anchor I was watching at the time. "What? What just happened?", I remember him saying as the plume of dust rose into the air. I thought "At least there's one left." My heart really sank when the second one fell.

I'm sitting alone in my living room watching this happen live. There were reports of a car bomb going off near the Pentagon. We all know what that turned out to be, conspiracy nutcases aside...and I like a good conspiracy theory. My aunt lives a rifle shot or two away from the Pentagon and I was concerned. I called her. She called back later that night. She was fine.

An acquaintance of mine was attending Seton Hall at the time. We didn't hear from him for a few days. Finally, when we did, he told us he knew four people in the towers that day. Two made it out. Two didn't.

Some 2800 didn't.

200 or so never left the Pentagon.

40 more took fate in their own hands and died in a Pennsylvania field.

So, where were you at 9 am September 11, 2001?


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