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Has it really been 10 years?? - Comments (0)
Carole McWilliams - 9/9/2011
It was one of those stunning blue sky days, both there and here, when the first hijacked jet hit one of the World Trade Center towers.
It was Tuesday morning, and I was at home, getting ready to go to work, when I heard the first sketchy report on National Public Radio. I continued listening in the car, and it started to become apparent that this was something out of the ordinary.
Then another jet hit the second WTC tower, and we all knew this was something dire. It’s a good thing those towers are so sturdy with their massive steel skeletons, right?
Then we started getting reports of two more hijacked jets, of passengers calling loved ones on their cell phones because they’d heard about the first two jets. Those doomed passengers gave us play by play as one jet crashed into the Pentagon and heroic passengers on the fourth jet fought back against the hijackers and the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field instead of reaching its target in Washington DC.
I might be mixing up my chronology here. But many Americans were glued to TV news by the time the first WTC tower began to pancake onto itself from the top down. Before that, viewers watched in horror as they saw things falling from the top floors and realized they were people jumping to their deaths.
The same thing happened with the second tower. It was only after that that I went next door to La Casita and watched it on their TV, thinking, “This is one of those cheesy disaster movies, isn’t it?” Of course I knew it wasn’t.
There were many solemn candlelight vigils that night. I drove to Durango for an impromptu gathering with several friends, one of whom’s birthday was that day. It took her several years to reclaim that.
As with newspapers everywhere, the 9-11 attacks dominated our news that week. We couldn’t not write about it. Everything else seemed stunningly trivial in comparison.
The world has changed forever, we thought. And in various ways it has, mostly not for the better.
Right after 9-11, Americans seemed to feel a sense of “We’re all in this together,” and people in other countries were with us as well.
Both of those are long gone now, and they could be our biggest losses in the past 10 years. I wish we could get them back, without the crisis that caused them.