On this 10 year anniversary as Bill (hubby) and I are watching the tv and sharing with our boys what our own experiences were that day. At the time we lived in Northern Virginia. Dulles Airport was in our back yard. Bill worked in DC across from the White House. He commuted into the city each day. September 11th, 2001 started out like every other day. I was home with our middle son who was only 2 years old (now 12) and our oldest who was 6 (now 15) and in 1st grade(our youngest who is 8 was not born yet). Bill was at work. I honestly do not remember how I found out, other than it was on tv. I do remember panicking. I tried calling Bill. He did not answer his desk phone. He was working in another building. We did not have cell phones. People were panicking all over. No one felt safe. No one knew what was next. I felt helpless. I knew I had to protect my children but I had no idea what I was protecting them from. The Elementary School went into lock down, we had fighter jets flying over us because they thought the White House was a target. I still was not able to reach Bill. The phone lines were jammed up and calls were not going through. He could not call me either. He had to call his family in NY to call my family in NY to have them call me. I did not get to hear his voice. Everything was happening so fast that details became a distant memory because my feelings were taking over. Bill remembers his walk back to his office as a day he will never forget either. He said the panick on people’s faces, screaming, running because they thought there was a bomb. He said he remembers standing still trying to figure out what he should do. I felt like Everything was happening in slow motion yet it was all happening so fast.
I remember gathering with neighbors and we were all in awe listening to the jets fly over. Paralyzed with fear, a fear that none of us had ever experienced before. It still had not sunk in as to what was really happening.
Bill was stuck in DC trying to get out as was everyone else. No one felt safe no matter where you were. We waited all day for Bill to finally arrive home. As relieved as I was to have him walk through the door, I couldn’t help but feel for all those who were not going to have someone in their family come home safe. Our oldest son’s Elementary School’s Principal lost her son in one of the World Trade Centers.
We were all changed forever.