Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 + 5

I was working at my desk all morning on the eleventh, five years ago. Some time into the noon hour, I think, my computer beeped. New e-mail.

I opened the e-mail. It was from a parishioner, forwarding some account from an eyewitness who described staggering through the streets of Manhattan, amidst shock and confusion. "As I looked back at where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood"... words to that effect...

Oh, Phyllis, I thought to myself, are you forwarding science fiction to me, or something? I read the piece a second time, still couldn't make sense of it.

Still more or less thinking that it couldn't be for real, I went into the living room, turned on the TV, turned it to Channel 19 from La Crosse. ABC News.

I got a horrible twisting sensation in my solar plexus. This was no science fiction. This was a terrorist attack, against thousands of innocent Americans, on American soil.

I spent the afternoon phoning people, e-mailing people, watching the coverage on TV. That evening, next door at St. John's, I led an informal and hastily improvised worship service. I remember I talked about dates that those of us old enough to remember would never forget. We would never forget where we were when we heard the news. December 7, 1941. November 22, 1963. And now September 11, 2001.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was watching Sesame Street. WITH children I might add (in spite of common perception, I rarely watch children's television by myself) When they made a dash into the other room to play train, I turned it over to one of the "morning" shows about one minute before the first plane hit. Its surreal to go from BigBird to a terrorist attack in the space of 60 seconds.

Monday, September 11, 2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger The Tetrast said...

My take. Complete with a few labored-writing moments, sorry about that.

Monday, September 11, 2006 3:33:00 PM  

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