September 11, 2001


Imagine that you board a plane intending to fly to the west coast. You are happy to be leaving the humidity behind and going someplace nice. Maybe you've been on a business trip and miss your family. Maybe you are on your way to attend the funeral of a loved one. Perhaps you are just flying away from home for a break. Do you notice the people that are acting strangely? Did they give you much notice about what was going to happen to you this morning? Did they kill people to make their point and scare you? Were you under the impression that they would just land the plane someplace like Cuba and let you go? Did you know you were going to die?

Imagine that you went to work this morning in a tall, beautiful building. You enjoy working there so much that you went in a little early this morning, to give yourself time to enjoy a sunny view while you drink your morning coffee. Imagine that you are suddenly on the floor, plunged into darkness and horror. Do you realize what just happened? Can you find your way to the stairs? Can you use the stairs even if you find them? Do you break open a window, hoping to catch a few gasps of fresh air? Is the heat making you frantic? Were you one of the people that jumped out of the window trying to escape the heat and flames? Were you scared? Did you know you were going to die?

Imagine that you are a public servant. You put your life on the line daily, fighting crime and fires. Imagine that the first calls are starting to come in..."a plane has flown INto the World Trade Center". Do you assume that this is some sort of freak accident? Do you believe that this could be a terrorist act? Are you overwhelmed when you arrive and find floods of people streaming out of the building? Do you have some kind of plan in place for evacuating as many people as possible? Do you have time to comfort the parent who can't find their child? Do you have time to assist the elderly person trying to keep up with the mass of people? Can you wrap your mind around the horror that has happened this morning? Did you know so many people were going to die?

Imagine that you live on the other side of the world. That you weren't even planning on turning on the news before bed but did for some reason. Imagine the tears coming to your eyes to hear the news start coming in. Imagine that you are sitting on the couch, riveted in place, barely able to breathe. Imagine the horror of watching the second plane hit. Imagine the horrible questions running through your mind as your heart breaks for everyone that is personally affected by this. Imagine your heart stopping when you hear about the bombing at the Pentagon. Imagine running to your computer to see if your sister is online so you can make sure she is alright. Imagine spending hours trying to dial the United States and not being able to get through. Imagine spending a few hours of fitful sleep, wondering if your brother in law is even alive. Imagine the tears that are finally allowed to fall when you find out that he is alive. I am glad he didn't die.

Imagine that you are living on the other side of the world. Imagine that you have one source of news. Imagine that your husband calls to tell you that it took him over two hours to get to work. Imagine getting a phone call telling you that you probably shouldn't leave the house and "we'll call you when you are allowed to come back on base and go to work". Imagine another phone call from your husband now telling you that he doesn't know when he will be home. Imagine being torn between terror and pride at the same time, all while being overwhelmed with love. Imagine a tiny part of your heart being ripped out each time someone on the television uses the word "war" a little too casually for your liking. Imagine that same heart breaking as you watch the news, listen to the radio, read the web, write this entry. You didn't want people to die.

Posted by rowEn at 01:30 PM | Comments (2247)