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.


twitches said…
All I can be today is pissed off.

But your story is a poignant reminder of the very human side of this - how it affected each individual. Thanks for posting.
January said…
I'm pissed off too, T. To think that we're no safer than we were five years ago. No Bin Laden. No answers.

And Bush is in his second term?

I'm pissed, too.
paris parfait said…
Thanks for sharing your memories. I'm sorry the happy occasion of your wedding got mixed in with the terrible events. And yes, I'm angry too. We had the whole world's goodwill after 9/11 and what did Bush do? Made everybody start to hate us because of his stupid self-destructive, self-serving actions. God help us all. xo
Alex said…
What a wonderful post Jan. We all have out memories of what we went through on that painful day. Thank you for sharing yours.
Writing Blind said…
I'm glad you decided to post. That day means nothing if people don't take time to remember it.
January said…
Rebecca (Writing Blind), you're not taking comments on your blog today, but I wanted to thank you for your comments about that day. It helps to read how others experienced the day.

We will ALWAYS remember.
We had family friends who also married the weekend following 9/11 in Virginia, though many guests from out of town could not get back for it. Their thank you cards showed them walking the beach, the flags at half-mast just beyond their profile. The words? Love Conquers All...I'm glad to hear it did for you and your husband as well. My thoughts are with everyone who was lost this week and beyond...

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