Where were you on 9-11-01?
I still lived in Beech Grove, back in September of 2001. I had only known Rich about a month. He was at work, I was a few days from starting my job there with him. I was going to meet my friend Dianne at her house in Trafalgar. I decided to take a day before getting back in the grindstone of working to go hang out with my pal in Nashville, Indiana.
It was a normal morning. Sunny, blue skies. I was happy that I was going to see Dianne. She had been laid off from BMG at the same time I was and she lived only about 20-ish minutes from Brown County so we were both looking forward to hanging out and being together.
I got ready and headed out the door around 8:30. I stopped at a bank machine on the way out of town, listening to Bob and Tom, as I usually do. They were on a commercial break and when they came back, Tom was so serious. He said there had been a terrible accident with the world trade center. I could tell by the way they were talking that this was something really serious and at that point, no one knew what had happened.
I took off down 65 southbound to Trafalgar, listening as they describe the second plane hitting the tower. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and couldn't imagine what I was going to see. I kept listening in disbelief and horror at what they were saying and felt my heart start to race a little. I've always lived in an America where I felt completely safe, probably the same way everyone else felt only a few minutes earlier. I kept looking at the sky...wondering what's going on??
I got to Dianne's and raced in to watch what was happening on TV. She had been watching already. We both just stood silent in the family room of her house staring at the TV. Was this real? Did this really happen? Who did this? Why? Did this mean we were at war? Were there going to be more attacks? If so, where were those going to happen? Who was protecting us? Dianne was in her 50's at the time, I thought she might be able to tell me what was going on but she was as bewildered as I was. No one had ever lived through any attack like this on American soil. No one knew why or who would have committed such a terrible crime against innocent people.
We stayed home most of the morning until we felt sure nothing else was going to happen. We did continue on down to Brown County. Most of the stores were open, some of them closed. Everyone was talking about it, had radios and TVs on in their shops. We didn't stay all day but by the time we started to head back to her house, we passed a gas station and there must have been 30 cars in line. We both though what the heck...then Nancy called and told me it was like that all over Indianapolis too. She said, if I needed gas, I better get it because there were reports that stations were closing after pumping all their gas. Just like us all to go fill our cars up with gas....not sure why we all jumped on that and panicked but lots of people did.
I stayed around Dianne's house for a while, ate dinner with her and Larry. I won't ever forget standing in her living room, watching that TV or that evening sitting down watching all those people searching for their family members. In the nights to come, when planes were still grounded, I won't ever forget how quiet the skies were. Normally there are lots of planes flying around the Beech Grove area, it's right on the flight path for the Indy airport. When there's absolutely no movement in the sky, that was very eerie and weird!
I can't ever forget about all the kids who lost parents that day or the men and women who lost their spouses, sons, daughters. It still makes me sick to think about how so many people were just going about their normal routines, flying on a business trip or on vacation. Or those sitting at their desks, so innocently and suddenly a plane comes crashing into their building, intentionally. Think of all those people on the streets, the people trying to get away, the firemen and policemen who tried to help. So many people! I can't connect with the terrorists and their mindset, the only thing I can wrap my mind around are the human stories. All those people.
I know I'll never forget that day. It's impacted me for the rest of my life. I hope I never have to live through another tragedy like that one. We all need to pray for our country and our safety every day and never, ever take for granted what and who we have around us.
Thank you God for my family, my friends, my home, my job and for giving me a sense of security even when things aren't so secure around us.