Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years later

Today is a day of remembrance for the events of September 11th. It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since that infamous day. As with all Americans, I remember where I was when I found out that the Trade Center towers were falling. I was unemployed, a victim of the high tech bubble bursting. My husband called me up from his work and told me to turn on the TV. I did. I could hardly believe what was happening. I watched in disbelief as the events unfolded. And then I began to cry. I cried for days on end as I kept vigil by the TV.

I had family members who were on planes during those moments and had to be diverted for immediate landing at the nearest airport. Since they weren’t allowed to continue the flight, they had the enormous task of trying to find their way home. Car rentals were scarce and they had to pair up with strangers to drive in shifts, nonstop, until they got home. It was all very stressful, confusing, and concerning for everyone.

The strangest part for me was the empty skies. I live in plane country. Washington State is the birthplace of Boeing. There are also several military bases out here. As a result, I see numerous planes every day. With no commercial, private or military air traffic in the days that followed September 11th, the skies were far too quiet. It made me uncomfortable. It was extremely odd to not see any airplanes crisscrossing the sky during the day, and it was so quiet at night that I had a very difficult time sleeping. It made me feel very uneasy to not hear the regular background noises.

I took such huge comfort when the air travel restrictions were lifted and I began seeing airplanes again. I remember lying in bed with my husband the first night when planes were back in the sky, and we quietly laid awake listening for planes. We commented softly to one another about how good it sounded to hear planes in the sky again and we quickly fell into a truly restful slumber.

The only reason why this particular facet sticks out in my mind is that I am constantly reminded of it whenever I look into the sky. Since September 11th I see planes a bit differently now. They serve as my own personal reminder of a very dark time 10 years ago, but they also symbolize comfort in the days that followed.   

Does anything immediately come to your mind when you remember September 11th? What significant moments do you recall? What gave you comfort during that time?      
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