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.)I'm sure that the blogosphere will be full of great tributes today, and I'll add links to those later, after I get back from judging a competition this morning.
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.
LATER: A few more items...
- Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas had a memorial garden in Houston dedicated to her this morning.
- Gerard Vanderleun has some first-person recollections from Brooklyn; here's another one with extensive quotes from a Cantor Fitzgerald broker whose life was spared by what can only be called divine providence.
- A couple of other "reruns' are work your time: this 2003 piece from James Lileks, and a collection of same-day postings from the early days of Instapundit.