9/11/01 Five years later. (Orig. posted 9/11/06)

I'm not sure what to type. I'm not sure what I feel. Many people I know wonder why I feel so strongly about September 11th.

I had the desire to be an EMT/Medic way before then, so I can't use that... I've wanted to be involved in the military for years, so I can't use that either.

I don't know what it is.

I was sleeping when the first plane hit. Sound asleep. I had a little one at this point. You can't fault me for sleeping.

I'll never forget the tone of Mr. EpiJunky's voice when he came into the bedroom.

"A plane just hit the World Trade Center.. " His voice took an unchararacteristicly nervous tone.
I'm sure it must have took him two or three times repeating that sentence to get me out of bed. Hey, I'm a heavy sleeper when I'm physically exhausted.

I've always been fascinated by New York City. I love skyscrapers, even though I'm terrified of heights. Three years earlier I had been lucky enough to visit NYC. I remember Psycho Ex driving me past the WTC complex (we were looking for a place to park.) I made him stop to take pictures.

Here's something I've told more than a few people... These towers... WTC 1 and 2... (or North and South) they were so tall. You couldn't stand at the bottom and see the top. You had to lay down on the ground to see the top.

They were beautiful. A lot of people talk about how New Yorkers thought of the WTC complex as being ugly. For some reason I NEVER thought of them that way, I was mesmerized by them. They were just so unbelievably mamouth.

I remember making my way out to the living room that day, it was beautiful outside, by the way... and watching TV in disbelief. Smoke...Fire... It was horrifying. I believe I watched for ten minutes or so before I saw the second plane hit.

I screamed. Mr. EpiJunky ran back into the living room.

(A little backstory... I don't handle these types of things well. I was pregnant when Columbine happened. It took me almost a month to tear myself away from the TV, so Mr. EpiJunky leaving the room to avoid my sobbing was not unusual...)

Mr. EpiJunky made it back just in time to see the first tower fall.

We knew it wasn't an accident. I had a sick feeling in my stomach that this was war.
Someone was attacking us. MY Country. OUR FAMILIES.

Those bastards...
I remember feeling sick to my stomach.
I was starting to get hysterical at this point.
Then the second tower fell.

Now hysteria turned to dispair. All I could do was sob. Other than the death of my Grandmother a few years earlier I had never cried so hard.

All I could think of... Those towers were so tall. SO many people had worked in there! An insane amount of people... Dead... Tens of thousands of people... Dead.

I remember someone on CNN saying that there could be 50,000 people working in the two buildings. All I could do was cry. All I could say was "Oh MY GOD..."

All of these innocent people. The mother going to work just to support her kids... The people working in Windows... (I had seen the outside of the restaurant... ) The firefighters... The EMT's... The cops... The uncertainty... There were rumors flying around already...

I had heard that the Washington Monument, White House and Pentagon had been hit... I was a mess.

I remember thinking... "I need to do something...". When I could finally tear myself away from the TV, I went out to donate blood. The line at Red Cross was outside of the parking lot and down the street. They were actually turning people away at Red Cross. As a semi-normal
donator there, I was shocked.
I ended up going to do some retail therapy at a Scrapbook Store. People in the store were complaining about the radio coverage *still* being focused on the WTC.

It made me feel ill again. It hadn't even been five hours since those towers had fallen. I remember wanting to physically injure these uppity bitches. In hindsght I guess everyone deals with crisis in their own ways. As EMT's, we know this better than anyone.

For a good ten days after that I watched CNN religiously hoping and praying to God that there would be some miraculous rescue... Some number of people saved. There was nothing. Five years later I know now that there were a small amount of people rescued... But then... Nothing.

I wanted to do something. I wanted to jump in my car and drive to NYC. But I had a newborn and a husband. There was nothing I could do.

I remember the local radio station raising money. It ended up being close to a Million dollars (if it wasn't more). I gave money. I wanted to do more. I wanted to be there... I wanted to do whatever I could.

I remember being completely heartbroken over the entire thing. I wasn't involved in EMS at the time, but even now, I have nothing but respect for the Firefighters and others involved...I have nothing but respect for Firefighters now. The guys I see everyday... The guys who run in when everyone else is running out.

Including my partner. Pseudo Dad, just don't let it get to your head :)

Even after all this babbling... I don't know if I'll ever get "over" this. I'm not sure if this event is something I should ever get "over". I still cry...rather easily, in fact, when I see anything related to 9-11. I've gone out and bought DVD's related to the subject. I've become an EMT, I'm going to Medic school. I can't say that 9-11 is the ONLY reason I've done these things, but they definitely play a part in it.

This is what hit me the hardest... The story of Juliana and Ruth McCourt and Ruth's best friend, Paige Farley-Hackel.

They were heading to Disneyland.

I've heard various stories since... everything from the best friends wanting to fly apart so that if something happened one of the two would survive, due to frequent flyer miles... Let me explain
Juliana was four. FOUR years old. Her mom and her Mom's best friend... They were heading to California. For whatever reason or another the three were on two different flights. ALL of them died. Juliana and her Mother were on United flight 175, Ruth on American flight 11. Ruth's plane hit the North Tower first... Juliana and her Mother hit the South Tower. All three of them left Boston that morning thinking they were going to meet in beautiful California... Mickey Mouse... They were heading to DISNEYLAND for God's sake.

As a parent you couldn't help but put yourself in the same situation. At the time I had a 1 1/2 year old. I kept putting myself, my son, and my best friend in the same position. As time wore on I found out that Juliana was just four-years-old... I wondered about the converstation that went on between Mother and daughter... Mother and Child.

All three of them dying, murdered... It was almost too much to think about. What kind of people do this? I was torn between being so fucking angry and being so unbelievably heartbroken over it...

Don't get me wrong... I grieve for all of them... the Firefighters all the way to the dishwashers... The stockbrokers to Joe Schmoe on the street. I think about all of them. I cry for all of them... I pray for all of them.

And that's why I'm not willing to forget. That's why I cry so damn much when someone 9/11 is on TV. That's why I'm not so willing to dismiss my feelings. That's why I watch just about every 9/11 show that comes on TV.


If you don't deal with this event in the same way I don't think less of you. If you're sick of seeing 9/11 related shows I don't think less of you. Just promise me you won't forget. I don't know how anyone could. You don't have to cry...

Just promise not to forget.

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