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September 11, 2009

I’m a little late on this. I realize that. But hey, that’s the life of a working woman.

But, I didn’t want to NOT write a post about what today is. September 11th. So, forgive me for writing it at the end of the day. The day still has no less meaning for me, and it doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a constant reminder in the back of my head.

8 years ago today, I was in college. I was 20 years old. Actually, I was still on summer break, getting ready to start my junior year of college. We didn’t start classes until the end of September, so I was winding down at the summer job that my best friend, Kim, and I worked at.

At the time, I was sleeping on my futon in the bonus room of my parents house. One of my sisters had taken over my bedroom when I went off to college, so I would bring my futon home with me during the summers so I didn’t have to sleep on the couch. (Not that I minded. It was a very comfortable couch. To this day, I still don’t mind sleeping on it!) My mom came in and woke me up around 6:30, 7:00 am, telling me that “some idiot” had ran a plane into one of the World Trade Center Towers. I remember thinking, while in a very groggy state, “what a dumbass. Ok thanks, mom … five more minutes.” (I worked at a Marina, mowing lawns, picking weeds and painting curbs. My morning routine consisted of getting up, throwing on a pair of shorts and a work tshirt, throwing some lunch type stuff into a bag, and heading out. 10 minutes tops!) I thought to myself, hey … that sucks. But who knew that it would turn into what it did?

I woke up, walked into my mom’s bedroom, where she always had the news on while she was getting ready to start her day. There is was. A firey mess in one of the World Trade Center Towers. It wasn’t long after that, that a second plane crashed into the second tower. It was at that moment that I though “holy shit … this is something.”

I got in my car, and went to pick up my best friend. I think it was on my way over to her house that the third plane crashed. What the hell is going on??! When I go to her house, her and her parents were equally as engaged with the news as I had been. Seconds after I walked in, we saw the first tower fall. It came crashing to the ground. And neither of us could say anything. And going to work was definitely not something that we wanted to do.

There are a couple of reasons for that. See, the marina that we worked for, The Port of Everett, is right next to a Naval Station. Having been married into the Military, and spending some time around the community, I understand, now, protocol for certain things. But being a 2o year old, still in college, and never having known a single military person, it was a little scary. There were guns, and dogs, and things that we had never seen before. And we were supposed to mow grass along the fence line??! NO THANKS.

Kim and I drove around all day. We mowed a few grass patches, but mostly we drove around in our work truck, listening to the radio, trying to get any tid bit of news that we could. It was a scary, scary day. We fought with our boss because we didn’t want to work. HOW COULD WE? What had happened was so major. So life changing.I remember being glued to the tv all night, and for days to come. Watching. Waiting for answers. I remember seeing a guy jump from above the flames at the World Trade Center, so desperate to get out.

My mom remembers in vivid detail where she was and what she was doing when she found out that JFK had been shot. I remember 9-11 like the back of my hand.

Today while I was at work, the Air Force Base played a series of chimes through out the morning. Four chimes at the exact minute that each plane crashed, as well as chimes at the exact minute that each tower fell to the ground. There is a very large speaker right by our office, which means I heard those bells clear as day. It was powerful, and moving in it’s own little way. A quick reminder of what today means. A flashback to that awful day.

My  husband and I have since been to New York City since that day. The site is a construction site. Nothing but a memory for the time being. But a powerful one. Even though all we saw was dirt and cranes, the emotion was still there. I will never forget.

We will never forget.

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