Saturday, September 10, 2011

My 9/11

My wife and I lived in a house in the Turtle Creek Mall area. At the time, there was no mall... just a field. She had left for work and I was getting ready for the day. I worked at KAIT as the weekend meteorologist and reported during the week from time to time, so I was to be at work at 9:00. While brushing my teeth, I heard a little blurb on the TV about a plane hitting the WTC. My mom called and also told me about the report. I thought it was bad, but I also thought is was a small plane and that it was an accident. I continued to get ready for work.

 My college roommate called me and wanted to know what was going on. He was in traffic in Nashville and was hearing the reports on the radio. As I talked to him and sat on my couch watching GMA, I saw the second jet hit the 2nd Tower on LIVE TV. I was shocked! I saw the outline of the fuselage and knew it was a large jet. Because of the shadows, it looked solid black and I did not think it was a commercial airliner, but rather a military jet from another country. Honestly, I think I said a few explicit words as I told my close friend what I was seeing. It made no sense. It was something I had never seen or imagined. And it was something that was obviously deliberate. Within minutes, the text pagers that were issued by KAIT read "All staff report to KAIT NOW"...

At work, there was really not much to do in the morning. ABC News was handling most of the coverage and we watched.... We quickly found out some local impacts. The most shocking was the fact that one of OUR reporter's dad was in the WTC. Allison Martin's Dad was in one of the towers. As you can  imagine, the emotions ran high at KAIT until we heard he was OK. In addition to her dad, we found out that Adam Staples from Region 8 was in the building. We hear he is OK and get an interview from him. Unfortunately, we then hear about a young lady from Batesville that worked for the airlines. She had died and quickly we assembled a crew to go to Batesville. I was the photographer in that crew and we set out for Batesville for the day.

At home that night, I walked in and hugged my wife for a long time. We were young and had no kids. I vividly remember telling her that I don't trust the world and that I did not want to bring kids into this world. It seemed uncertain, violent, unsafe, and the future did not seem to have any light. We went out to the grocery to ease our minds and to buy ice cream. (Typical thing for a young couple). Most people were at home and the aisles were empty. The people that were there, had blank stares and we all looked at each other with the same uncertain and scared faces.

The next Sunday, my wife and I were still searching for a Church home. We went to Highland Drive Baptist and it was packed. We sat in folding chairs because so many people had come to church looking for answers.

The country was united! There were no Republicans or Democrats. There was no Tea Party. There was America and we were all Americans.

Today, we are torn apart again. The Churches are not running the numbers that they were in September of 2001. I'm not sure what else I can say about it, except that we have forgotten. America has forgotten what it was like to walk the aisles of a grocery store on the evening of 9/11/01. We have forgotten the peace we got from Christ on the Sunday after. We have forgotten that people are STILL dying today to fight the evil that rammed jets into our buildings! I'm just as guilty as everyone else...

Can't say much more.


mom said...

I had pulled an all-nighter on an appellate court transcript. Fixed a fresh pot of coffee and came back to desk to watch the little desk b/w tv ~ Diane Sawyer was holding her ear bud,saying hmmm...seems a small plane has crashed into one of the World Trade Center Towers. But, she didn't look quiet right. I called you; you'd been shaving. You said it was gonna be a long day at work. It felt to me like when President Kennedy was killed, all over again.

Anonymous said...

Very well said and thought provoking as well.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, your words ring so true. We have gotten back in our lives and routines and have forgotten. We hold a memorial, but will we remember this next week? We should all be on our knees,praying for this country.nana