Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget (Part II)

In the late summer of 2001, I loaded all of my belongings into my truck, left Stanford University, and drove across the country to pursue my dream of working in Washington, DC. I began work at a new, non-profit organization on Capitol Hill on September 4.

On September 11, 2001 I woke up and prepared to go to work at our office three blocks from the U.S. Capitol. For some reason, that day I was going into work later than usual. I was living at the home of Jim and Betty Jo Croft in McClean, Virginia. I was house sitting while they were away.

After preparing a bowl of cereal for breakfast, I turned on the television to watch the morning news just around 9 AM. I watched as the commentators described that a single plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. At that time it was unclear whether it was an accident or deliberate, but I remember the commentators discussing both. I called my family and told them to turn on the television.

I was horrified as I watched the second plane hit live on television. I have never felt so alone sitting in that house that day. I cried, I prayed, I watched. Within a half an hour, a plane had hit the Pentagon, and I knew America would be changed forever.

Later, I called my cousin who lived in an apartment with a view of the Pentagon and went to visit her. She was very emotional because she and her roommates had heard the plane fly over their building before they saw the fireball exploding from the Pentagon. I spent time with her and our friends as we discussed our feelings. A few days later, we went to the memorial site at the Pentagon where people were placing flowers and pictures. It was morose, but moving.

For the next few months, I drove past the giant flag on the side of the Pentagon a few times each week. Washington, DC was an awesome place to be that year. People pulled together in unimaginable ways. The anthrax attacks later that fall only strengthened the bonds of people in that city.

September 11, 2001 was frightening and humbling, but our country's resolve and brotherhood in the following months was incredibly inspiring.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you were late to work that day! I remember being at school and watching just after the pentagon hit, and being so worried because my big brother had just moved to DC! I was so scared for you. Love you!