Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11

It started out just like any other day. Beeping monitors, the soft hiss of the ventilators, humming of the infusion pumps and conversations over coffee to begin another busy shift in the ICU of the large university hospital where I worked as a nurse. That familiar morning rountine came to an abrupt, screeching halt as my co-worker came flying into my patient's room saying "Turn on the TV NOW, Jennifer, it's really really bad. A plane just flew into the World Trade Center".

My first thoughts were of an accident- a flight gone terribly awry. How could a pilot just mistakenly "fly into" the WTC? I finished my duties in that room, and made my way out to our central station in the middle of the unit. Everyone was talking, tossing around theories when suddenly, from an empty patient room another co-worker called out "O, dear God, there is another one". We raced into the room just in time to see the 2nd plane hit. I felt sick. I called my parents because I wanted to hear their voices. We heard about the Pentagon and became even sicker and more horrified. I felt so unsafe, so scared and so violated. I went through the motions that day in a sort of fog. I think that we all did. I wanted to go home, I wanted to touch my loved ones, I wanted to cry, but most of all, I think I just wanted to feel safe again.

I will never forget the image of my then- boyfriend (who was a doctor at the hospital where I worked) staring at the screen in that empty patient room, hands on his hips with tears streaming down his face. He never even bothered to wipe them away. That image is burned into my memory as exemplifying how we all felt, I think. Raw, emotional and angry, disbelieving and incredibly, incredibly sad. As the stories of the missing and dead began to fill the televsion and airwaves the next days and weeks, I found myself crying for those I did not know. Those husbands, fathers, dads, brothers, sons, mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. I will never forget.
I have not seen ground zero since the attacks, though I was there shortly before they occurred. My fervent hope is to see us build back better and bigger than before, while preserving the memory of all that was lost that day. Lost lives, shattered dreams, pierced hopes and, finally the loss of our innocence. I don't think any of us have been the same since. We were rocked out of complacency and thrust into a war that still rages. May God bless our troops and may God bless the USA.

Happy Monday and
Much Love,


Zach said...

I had the same feelings =[

Gail said...

I think we all had some of the same feelings, and wanting to be with loved ones. Good post.

Tammy said...

Thank you for sharing this! It is like seeing a slice of America in the workforce as they grappled with the terror that was happening. It's amazing how many of the same feelings we all shared on that day, no matter where we It didn't matter.

Kate said...

So real and so raw - always will be. Thanks for sharing your memory and heart.