Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Day the World Changed

I didn't want to jump into the September 11 hype. As a matter of fact, I couldn't watch much of it on TV back when it happened. I missed a lot of the painful details back then because I couldn't stand the constant replaying of the same scenes over and over. I would just cut off the TV and get my news from coworkers and friends. But it has been 10 years, and I appreciate the posts, mentions, and events that honor those who were lost or involved and the memories that connect us all.

After reading other blogs and Facebook posts all day, I saw that Rachelle Gardner had offered a place on her blog for memories in 100 words or less. I decided to add my condensed memory to the mix, after reading all 77 of the other memories. And as a writer, I need to write down my view of what happened that day. I've put it off long enough.

I was driving off a Navy base, 2 hours from the Pentagon, for a car appointment when I heard about the second plane on the radio. As I watched the news at the auto shop, I prayed, “Don’t evacuate.” Thousands of people worked on the base, on a peninsula with one road out. But we thought we were next – they evacuated. I didn’t want to be a sitting duck in all that traffic, so I met a friend and we stayed in a restaurant all afternoon. Two days later we heard from a coworker who survived at the Pentagon.

Without the word limit, I would add one more thing. That base had a lot of civilians on it, and we were evacuated. Our military coworkers stayed. They were suddenly on duty round the clock, flying over our heads to protect us all in the weeks to come.

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