The alarm went off at 7am (Arizona time, 3 hours behind eastern time) with the radio playing. The song that came on was Steely Dan "Hey Nineteen." My husband was in the shower, so I just laid there for a few minutes, listening to and enjoying the song. They interrupted it halfway through to say that one of the towers collapsed. They went to CNN feed, and I was really confused. The things I got out of it at that time were that the one tower had collapsed, the pentagon was hit with something, and that all air travel was suspended. My husband came out of the shower, and I told him what happened. He thought I was joking. He listened to the radio for a few minutes, then went out into the living room to turn on the TV. I got in the shower, feeling a little sick to my stomach. A few minutes later, my husband opened the bathroom door and said that planes had crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon, that it wasn't an accident, but a deliberate attack.I worked at a preschool at the time. It was one little girl's birthday that day. We knew a lot of horrible things were going on out in the world, but in that classroom, we wished Ryan a happy birthday and sang to her, and pretended that her birthday was the most important thing going on that day.
I felt sick that whole day, but we've got kids to think of, and I work at a school with a bunch of little kids... so we tried to behave as normally as possible. Of course, on the way to school I had to reassure my stepson that planes were not going to smash into his school and he didn't have to worry. He said "well then, Can I worry for the people in New York?" *sob*
I remember a few days later when planes started flying again, how surreal it was to see one, when just a few days before it was surreal not to see one. I had nightmares for about a year afterwards of things falling out of the sky. About a year later, I got involved in a quilting group that made a huge huge quilt that was like nothing I've ever seen. It had the names of each police officer and each firefighter who died embroirdered on it. My contribution was stitching about 3 feet of the binding down. I'll have to see if I can find a picture of it somewhere.
Today my 6 year old came home from school talking about that day that he doesn't remember. He asked "can that happen again Mom?" What a tough question for a parent to answer. And if I never hear "Hey Nineteen" again, I won't be sad.
See Rocks in my Dryer for more September 11th memorials.