I wasn’t sure if I was going to post about 9/11. Out of respect for the people who died, I considered not blogging today. But I walked in on part of a 9/11 tribute to firefighters on TV and was so moved I felt I had to say something.
Just about everyone can remember where they were on that day—this is my story.
Sounds like a cliché, but it was a day like any other. I got up, got dressed and went to work. Except this was the day before I was supposed to fly to Norfolk, Virginia, to prepare for my wedding on 9/15.
When I got to work, mentally I was already on vacation. Wedding details kept running though my head. And then someone came into my office and said an airplane had hit The World Trade Center. I remember thinking maybe a small plane had capped the top of the building. But then I had trouble logging into CNN.com. The only Web site I could get to was Boston.com, and the details were sketchy in the beginning.
So I drifted downstairs to our PR group and we’re all glued to the TV. Then I did what most people outside of NYC did: called friends in NYC to see if they were okay; called parents; and called Tim, my then fiancé, to see how we were going to get to Virginia. Later that day, my coworkers planned a party for me wishing me good luck in my new life, but no one wanted to celebrate—it didn’t seem appropriate. In fact, it seemed inconsequential at the time.
We drove all night to get to Norfolk with my husband’s mother and brother, 12 hours on the road. We passed NYC but were unable to travel within a 50-mile radius of the city, taking detour after detour. I remember being near the Garden State Parkway and hearing soot and debris hit the car, as light as falling snow. It looked like our car was bathed in pollen. I also have the distinct memory of listening to Howard Stern’s broadcast in the wee hours as we were passing Washington, D.C. I can still hear the pain in his voice mixed with a bit of courage for broadcasting through such a difficult time.
We got to Norfolk without incident, got married on 9/15, and flew out on our honeymoon a day later. And in the five years since then, I’m always reminded that our anniversary is forever connected to that day. It’s a selfish thought, I know. But it’s my recollection of the day.
To all the bloggers out there telling your 9/11 stories, talking about friends and family members affected, offering your stories and remembrances, thank you. And for the victims and their families, my prayers are with you today.