Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 - Where Was I?


I live in Northern Virginia, about 20 minutes from D.C. At the time I was a 7th grader and I was sitting in a science class. My teacher left the room for a minute and walked back in, saying something about a plane hitting a building. I was a little scared; it sounded like planes were just dropping from the sky and hitting buildings. It wasn't until I got to my next class (Orchestra) that I saw what had happened.

My teacher, a New Yorker, had the T.V on and was running back and forth from the classroom to the phone. On the T.V I saw the image of the first tower covered by a cloud of smoke. I wasn't sure what to think. I was scared, but still calm.

... until they mentioned that the Pentagon had been hit. My father, a retired Army man, worked with defense contracting with (I believe) Ratheon at the time. I knew that he worked in D.C., but I had no idea if he actually worked in the Pentagon or not. I was still young, so I didn't have a cell phone or a way to call my house without asking a teacher. I worried the entire day until my sister picked me up after school.

"Dad was in the Pentagon."

When she said that my heart stopped.

Luckily, she quickly added: "He's ok."

When my dad got home that night I hugged him harder than I've ever hugged anyone in my entire life. He told me that he had two offices to visit in the Pentagon that day and had chosen one over the other. Had he chosen the other room he probably would have died. He told me how him and other coworkers were standing around the T.V, watching the towers burn.

Then, someone said: "Wouldn't it be something if a plane hit the Pentagon?"

Sure enough, seconds later the plane hit. My dad said that it felt like all the air was sucked out of the building and then launched back at them. Everyone darted out of the building and down the halls as quickly as they could. I was so relieved he made it out safely.

I hope everyone takes a moment of silence today for the innocent lives lost in this terrible attack.

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