The mourning sun glares on a street
By Twin Towers standing as guardians
As dust and tears settle on a now
Their thunderous demise still
echoes the Nation.
Instead of bringing this great county
to its knees
We rise shaken and bruised, refusing
to admit defeat.
We join together as one
A united front towards
a common enemy.
Our flag continues to wave, The Star
Spangled Banner continues to play
And prayers are lifted unto heaven
on Angels' Wings.
Today, amidst the rubble and chaos
brought to this land
We, The United States of America
proudly STILL STAND!
(c) sierra sugar 9/12/2001
Growing up I remember my parents talking about the assasination of John F, Kennedy and how even decades later they could perfectly remember even the smallest detail of that singular moment in time. I couldn't understand it. That is, not until September 11, 2001.
Ten years ago today I was married to an enlisted Navy man serving shore duty at Patuxent River, Maryland, which is located just South of Washington DC. We lived on base and he worked on the electronics and radar systems for the F-18 fighter jets. That morning, like any other morning we both were at work and the kids were in school, him on base and the kids and I off base. That's when I heard the news. A patient called to say she wouldn't be in, she was watching the news and a plane just flew into one of the Twin Towers in New York. I couldn't wrap my brain around that concept.
I went to put the news on for my boss and I. I remember standing there with my phone in my hand as I had called my husband but it just rang and went to voice mail. I vaguely remember hearing his voice mail message, as if through a hollow tin can, as the second plane flew into the other tower. When the first tower collasped, that's when my legs gave and I crumpled to the floor. By the time I was finally able to make my legs work and stand both towers had collapsed. I don't remember crying but my eyes burned and my cheeks were wet. Every number I tried to call got some message about circuits being overloaded and the call could not be completed. Being that close to DC I didn't know whether my husbands squadron was going to get called out. My family and friends didn't know if we were ok.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when my phone actually rang. It was my husband. He had literally two minutes to talk. I remember him saying be quiet and listen. Get the kids and get on base NOW, they are locking everything down. No one in or out.
My boss told me to go and I did. I couldn't get through to the school but it didn't matter. Cars were lined up, buses were loading kids already, and the office was in hyper drive checking IDs and signing kids out. From that point it took me 3 hours to get on base as every car and person, kids included, went through a complete security check including metal detector and pat down. They looked in cars, trunks, behind seats, used big mirrors to scan the under carriage of every vehicle. Only those with valid military ID that showed they lived on base, or listed as critical crew were being allowed in, everyone else was turned away. And at 6pm no one, living there or not, was getting on the base, period. We were locked in for 3 days.
That night every navy wife and husband not on duty turned off their lights and sat in their front yards for a candle-light vigil. Even the kids were solomn and still for that hour. There was nothing we more we could do at that moment but pray and hope.
For days we watched nothing but every video, news cast, interview, and heart-wrenching story from that fateful morning. Until I finally couldn't take it anymore. I turned the TV off and took the kids to the park on base. Every moment of that day, every face seen on the TV, every tear, and every loss will always be etched in my memory. And every day I am thankful that for all the heartache and loss that day, my family was spared. I only wish so many others would have been as lucky.