Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11/01

Where were you on September 11, 2001? What were you doing when American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers? Who were you with when you watched the aftermath of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon? What were you thinking when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania?

I don't care how old I get, or how senile, I will always know the answers to those four questions. I don't think anyone over the age of twenty will ever forget the horror this country felt on that day, six years ago.

I was in my kitchen when the telephone rang. W., who was three, was watching Teletubbies in the playroom. The caller ID showed Mr. Schmitty's cell number.

"Are you watching tv?"

"Are you kidding? Teletubbies is on!" I replied.

"Turn on the news, some guy just flew his plane into one of The World Trade Center buildings!" At the time, it was thought that a small plane had crashed. They did not know that it was a commercial airliner.

"WHAT?!"

I head over to the tv as I hear Mr. Schmitty yell, "Oh My God, another one just flew into the other building! I have to go!" He hangs up as I stand staring at the tv, phone in hand, and mouth hanging open.

At the time Mr. Schmitty was working in the Marine Bureau of the State Police of NJ. His station was in Port Newark which is located directly across the river from NY. He was watching all of this unfold. My heart sank. I knew he'd be involved in whatever all of this was. And what was this? Was there more to come? Where? What?

I was glued to the tv for the next hour. The telephone was ringing off the hook. I didn't want to answer it. My husband's family was wondering if he was working. They wanted to know details, details I didn't have. I couldn't keep reassuring everyone. I wanted them to leave me alone. I knew they were worried too, but I needed them to stop asking me questions I didn't have the answers to.

Finally Mr. Schmitty called me. None of the telephone lines for the station were working. Cell phones were failing too. He needed me to start contacting his fellow officers and telling them to come in to help. Those were the hardest phone calls, especially when their wives would answer the phone. I was telling them that their husbands had to go into the unknown.

That phone call was the last I received from Mr. Schmitty for the rest of the day. I didn't know what he was doing, where he was, nothing. I was a wreck. I needed to turn off the tv. I couldn't watch anymore, it was making me crazy. I remember my neighbor had come over with his kids. We sat in the yard watching them play. We just watched them, so innocent, so unaware. We each had a beer to calm our nerves.

I am so thankful that Mr. Schmitty came home to us that night, unharmed physically, but you could see the toll of the day in his eyes. We all changed a bit that day.

I am extremely lucky that I have my husband to hold. Others were not as fortunate and for them, I send my prayers. For them I will light a candle as a reminder of what was lost six years ago today.

7 comments:

Annie said...

I'm praying with you.

meleah rebeccah said...

Thank you for remembering.

I will never forget where I was and what I was doing the exact moment the towers went down.

kellypea said...

It still hurts to think about it.

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

Thank you for sharing.

Maria said...

Liv was in her high chair, eating oatmeal. I was flying around getting ready for work.

The phone rang. It was a friend who told me to turn on the TV.

I did.

After a while, I had to turn it off because Liv kept pointing at the TV and saying, "plane!" I turned it to Sesame Street. Kermit the frog sang about how it wasn't easy being green.

I didn't go into work that day.

Or the next.

Mom on Coffee said...

While I certainly don't wish to relive that day, I do wish we could all remember the patriotism, heroism, and love we all felt that day.

Thank you for tell us all about what it was like for you.

Thank you so much also, for your donation to my walk.

Bananas said...

Thanks for sharing. What an awful, awful day.