September 11, 2001: En Memoriam

My good friend, The Diarist posted a blog recounting his day seven years ago and has inspired me to write my own.

I set my alarm for 8:00 that morning to allow myself ample time to reach my 3rd interview for a new job at 9:45. I took a shower & had some cereal and returned to my bedroom in the basement of my Dad's townhouse. I turned on the news somewhere between 8:45 and 9:00 am, and saw that a plane had hit the first WTC building. I was in shock and couldn't understand how a flight could get that off track. I called upstairs to my stepmother and had her turn on the TV and called my mother, who was getting ready for work at home herself around 8:55.

She answers the phone and I immediately ask her to turn on her TV. She takes a second to get into the living room at her place and I hear her gasp at the sight of the tower burning. We talk about it and speculate how someone could possibly have a malfunction that would would steer them into the center of the tallest building in world. Then at 9:00 am, I see the unthinkable happen on my TV as the plane hits the second building and the instant understanding as I say "Oh my God!" into the phone. My mother says "What?" as her TV satellite is slightly behind in signal and she immediately gasps and then screams.

I take my phone upstairs and my stepmother calls my dad, who is on his way home. My mother hangs up her phone so she can make calls to her side of the family. I try to call the manager who is interviewing me and I don't get through. So, after telling my stepmother that I will be right back, I depart for my interview across town.

I get there around 9:25 or so and the GM is standing in the lobby of the hotel where the job fair was being held watching the TV. He looks at me introduces himself, offers me the job and tells me to go home to be with my family. I suggest that he does likewise, thank him and get in my car.

As I am driving home and listening to the radio at 9:37 the Pentagon is struck and these horrible images of dozens of planes targeting sites around the country fills my head. I rush home get there and my dad and stepmother are watching the coverage as they report the 4th plane crashing in PA.

Around noon, I remember that I am the manager of a Blockbuster and that I may have employees, who are still there and have no idea what to do. I try calling them and as most of you remember from that day calls just weren't going through anywhere. I get my stuff together and drive out to Springfield to see what is happening at the store. My assistant manager was there and she had sent home everyone else. I relieved her and thanked her for her actions and told her to go home to be with her family.

I kept the store open until my employees came in at 6:00 pm, so I could make sure that they knew to go home. But, remarkably at about 5:45, I started to get business (grocery store right across from me). So, I stayed open to supply people with something to take their minds off of the tragedy, if just for a moment. The twins (I had twin Customer Service guys) came in and told them that they should go back home. They saw the people at the store and refused to leave until I could as well.

So, sometime around 9:00 pm, the Giant closed up and we followed that example. Before we left we lit candles and the 3 of us stood in vigil outside the stores and were joined by some of the others who were still there to say a little prayer.

Every September 11th, I remember. I remember the shock. I remember the terror. I remember the uncertainty. I remember the kindness. I remember the unity.

People for a brief moment put away their difference and united as a world. United, we are kind. United, we are open. United, we love. United, we stand.

I only wish it did not take such great tragedy for us to remember the strength of unity.

Much Love,



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