Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You...

...eight years ago today when you heard the news? I've posted my own take on the day pretty much every year since I've been a blogger, and I'll do the same this year:
I was on a break from teaching, like every Tuesday, and actually spent the time of the attacks in blissful ignorance at a nearby Starbucks. I had CD's on in my car instead of the radio, so I totally missed the news on both the way over and the way back. I did hear someone listening to a radio on the Starbucks patio and they were talking about "the second plane," but it didn't register with me at all. (It amazed me later that nobody walked inside and told us about it.)

When I got back to the school, the flute teacher stopped me in the hallway and asked me if all my students were being pulled out of school (evidently hers were). I said, "No, why?" and she told me what had happened. I spent the rest of the day like everyone else, in shocked, depressed amazement, catching the news when I could. There I was, not even two weeks into being a homeowner, and the world suddenly felt so different. It added to the pall cast over everything when I found out that the sister of a girl I graduated from high school with was on Flight 93, the one that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. (I know that there have been quite a few lists of names read aloud today, so let me share hers: Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. May she rest in peace...)

The whole thing felt so surreal; how could anyone hate us that much? The concept of the suicide hijacking was unprecedented as well (before that, hijackers just usually wanted to go to Cuba, and that's why airline personnel were taught to cooperate with them rather than try to subdue them).

I know there are still terrorist plots being hatched, and people capable of carrying them out...but I hope nothing like this ever happens on U.S. soil again. Or anywhere, for that matter.

For those who may be new to reading this blog since then, I'll invite you to share your recollections in the comments to this post.

As I've said for several years now, I hope nobody tires of talking about this every once in a while, because if we stop talking, we might forget, and this is a day that need not be forgotten anytime soon.
Obviously, the blogosphere is full of tributes today; let me share a few of my favorites:
  • Forbes Magazine has an archived interview with Thomas Burnett, one of the heroes of Flight 93, just a few days before he would enter into history.

  • Instapundit links to his entire offering of posts from 9/11 week. It's interesting to watch this all unfold through his eyes, and amazing to remember that there was a time when his blog getting over 5000 (total) hits was a big deal. (Contrast that with now, when he averages 80 times that many hits per day.)

  • Here's a first-hand account from a Wall Street Journal reporter.

  • Here's a 2006 interview with Jack Grandcolas, widower of Lauren, my classmate's sister mentioned earlier.

  • And another eyewitness recollection from blogger Allahpundit.

  • Dave Barry puts humor on hold for a moment at his blog, and the commenters weigh in with tributes. (Also in the comments are links to Dave's columns on 9/11 and Flight 93.)

  • Here's a video that's worth your time.

  • And as always, James Lileks posts his own moving video montage at the bottom of today's Bleat (keep scrolling down).
As I've said before, I never grow tired of posting this every year, because without constant reminders, we might forget...and this is something that always needs to be remembered.

No comments: