Friday, September 10, 2010

I Will Never Forget

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

I was in Holland, MI.  I was doing the morning show for a full-service AM station after serving as the station's news director for several years and was having a great time doing it.  It was a great day too.  A lot of listeners called in and we were having a great time!  The weather was just perfect.  A beautiful morning full of sunshine. 

I was getting ready to go into the news and was trying to fill enough time to get to the top of the hour and wasn't paying much attention to the TV in the studio.  The phone line lit up, so without hesitation, I answered it.  "Did you just see what happened on TV?"  the voice on the line asked me.  "No, what?"  The listener frantically said, "A plane just ran into the World Trade Center building."  

I quickly flipped the studio TV onto a news channel and saw the billowing smoke.  What in the world was going on?  How could a plane lose such control that it could run into a building like that?  It never occurred to me that someone would do such a thing on purpose.   

You know, a lot of people talk about how radio folks can never shut up and always have to get in the last laugh, or be the center of attention.  Not that day.  We were all huddled around the TV. Completely.  Silent. 
Another plane hit the towers and yet another plane hit the Pentagon. I thought, "my father-in-law used to work in the Pentagon."

 I finally mustered up enough courage to leave the station, and leaving all the news coverage up to a then rookie radio guy who would later become my boss and is now working in Detroit as "the boss man."  I know he too has quite a story to tell of that day. 
The first thing I did, was call my husband only to find out that he had walked his students to a neighborhood park that day--it was a gorgeous day after all.  He had no idea yet what had happened. 

Then I called my mom and dad, because I just felt like I had to.  I couldn't stand being home alone, so I went downtown to a prayer vigil that afternoon.  I held hands with strangers and we prayed and cried together.  The mayor led the prayer.

I didn't lose anyone I loved that day, but I wept as though I had lost a million.  And I still weep for those lost on that day.  And for those who lost someone they loved. 

I can't believe it has been 9 years already, yet at the same time I can't believe how much has happened in those 9 years.  I could list all the things that has happened in our nation in that time period, but what I think about most is the anniversaries I have spent with my husband.  The birthdays, that I know are dwindling, with my parents.  The beautiful babies my husband and I have brought into this world, and every moment that they bring a smile to my face.  I will never forget those moments, and I will never forget 9/11.

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that Bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love
~Alan Jackson

1 comment:

  1. goosebumps, i will never forget that day either