Sunday, September 11, 2011

SEPTEMBER 11, 2011

((The majority of this post was first published on 11Sep 2008. I've
changed the ending to reflect that bin Laden was found.))

Sept 11th 2001 I was on my way to work at the bookstore which opens
at 9:00. As usual I was listening to WBZ AM, the Boston news radio
station, and was somewhere on Rte 37 in Braintree when the news
bulletin came about the first plane hitting the South Tower of the
World Trade Center in New York. At first I thought it was some
terrible accident as I listened to the report. I remember at one traffic
stop the light turned green and the first car in line didn't move right
away. Nobody honked their horn at the driver. They were all listening
to the news.

I was running a few minutes late already and so I was just pulling into
a parking space when news came at 9:02 of the second crash. Now I
and the rest of America knew the first crash had not been a mistake.
We were under attack. I went into the store and punched in, then
knocked on the Cash Office door, where Linda, the office manager
at the time, was listening to the radio. Given that there had been a
previous attack on the Twin Towers by terrorists we realized this must
be another by the same group or another like it and talked about it for
a few minutes but the store was about to open and I needed to be out
on the sales floor.

It was a surreal day. Linda would relay the news to the staff about the
collapse of the Towers and the other two planes crashing into the
Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. We heard that the planes had
come from our own Logan Airport and had many New Englanders
aboard them, which made it even harder to hear. But work went on
as it did for so many other Americans that day even though our
minds and hearts weren't into doing our jobs.

That night when I got home the networks kept showing the same
images over and over of the planes crashing, the Towers falling and
of the people running ahead of the looming cloud. I was angry at
whoever had done this to so many innocent people, and I wanted
them caught and punished for it.

Today, it's a different world. September 11th changed it forever.

And I no longer wait for Osama bin Laden to be caught and punished.
Justice has been done.

But we still mourn, and we will never forget.

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