The Morning of Sept. 11

I thought it only right to repost this from last year.  It's written from my son's point of view of what happened on the morning of 9/11.


In the fall of 2001, I was a college student working part-time in a Sears Department Store at our local mall. Like millions of Americans, I got up on the morning of 9/11 and went about my normal routine preparing for work. I did not turn on the television. I did not turn on the radio.

I was shaving at 8:46 AM when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I had no idea our country had just changed forever. I’m not sure anyone knew then.  At 9:03 AM when flight 175 hit the South Tower, I was in my car headed for work. I still did not have my radio on.

I arrived at work about 9:20 AM. Employees were gathered in small groups all through the store talking about the tragedy.  I gleaned as much information about the events of the morning as I could. At this point, I think we were all too stunned to comprehend the enormity of things.

Groups of threes and fours merged and headed towards the electronics department where the televisions were working.  I joined them.  The need we all felt for more information seemed to pull us along without conscious thought of our movements. The store had not opened yet, but the aisles around the televisions were packed with employees.

I drifted automatically to stand next to a co-worker who had become a good personal friend. The world had suddenly become a scary place, and I needed to be close to someone I cared about.  This same emotion was reflected back to me in her eyes, as we silently greeted each other. 

The voices around me were soft and muffled. We could not take our eyes off the newscast. The earlier shock and numbness of our group had changed. I looked at the faces of those around me, many were streaked with tears, they all revealed pain, sadness and disbelief.

At 9:47AM when Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, we collectively sucked in a deep breath. Voices became louder now, angry. The woman in front of me turned, her face pale, and ran from our area.  "Her son works at the Pentagon," I heard whispered over and over. The voices became even angrier… louder.  There were cheers for the rescue workers, threats for the instigators, and prayers for the victims. We all wanted to DO something. We needed action to rid ourselves of the helplessness we all felt and shared.

The store was opening. We had to return to our places of work.   Mine was in hardware, which is where I stood at 10:10 AM when Flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.  I knew about it instantly. Several employees working in the television section yelled loudly.  The sounds they made became a tidal wave of moans, curses, and screams that rolled across the store.

By noon there were murmurs of security concerns for public places such as malls. The atmosphere in the store was thick with trepidation and grief.  Together, we had gone from disbelief to shock, from fear to anger, and with all those emotions, we carried a feeling of heavy national loss and mourning. Mourning for those killed, mourning for our country, and mourning for our own peace and security.

It was 1:00 PM when the decision was made to close our mall.  We all raced home to our televisions. We all raced home to our loved ones. We all vowed never to forget.