Saturday, September 11, 2010

smoke rises

i cannot let this day pass
without remembering its significance.

(just before the collapse)

september 11, 2001

dressed in a gray 3/4 length sleeved tee, my ralph lauren weekenders, and steel-toed metatarsals, i walked into the administrative building where our office was located. not unlike any other day, my boss, tl, asked if i wanted to go have a "smoke"...

i said, "sure, let's go, but let me get me a grab a cupppa coffee first..." ("having a smoke" at the company where we were working was more like "hanging out around the water cooler".)

i grabbed a cuppa, and we headed out of the building. as we did so, tl held the door for one of the accountants, who was arriving for work. "have you all heard that an airplane just hit one of the towers?" pam asked.

jack, who was joining us for "a smoke" said he had heard about it...
no details.

we walked out onto the patio. preoccupied, i drank my coffee. tl, jack, and pat smoked and talked. i heard them talking but really wondered what tower the airplane had hit. i didn't realize pam and jack were referring to one of the towers at the world trade center and the airplane was in fact a large jet.

shortly thereafter, pam stuck her head out the door and informed us a second plane had crashed into a second tower. as my three co-workers quickly extinguished three cigarette butts in a sand-filled ashtray located outside the office door, 
it dawned on me...
the world trade center?! the four of us hurried back into the building.

i followed tl into our office, which was also the company's information center (where cnn headline news constantly looped) for the company's telemonitors . tl and i just stood there in stunned silence, horrified. our co-workers, rhonda and sue, arrived. none of us could believe what was happening.

we heard our fellow employees start to gather in the lobby to watch the news. we walked out to join them.

more breaking news: "the pentagon has been hit!"

concurrently, a maintenance man walked into the lobby from the factory. he looked over his shoulder and exclaimed, "guys, this is not a terrorist attack-
these are acts of war!"

false reports ensued: "we are getting unofficial reports that the white house and the capitol building have also been hit!"

in what seemed like slow motion, i panned the room. the looks of shock, horror, and disbelief encompassed the faces of everyone, respectively. i backed around the corner and into the empty hallway to catch my breath. i noticed a facilitator was teaching a class across the hall from where i stood. the instructor looked at my face obviously wondering what was happening. i walked toward the door as he opened it.

"we are under attack..." i heard the words come from my mouth. "they have hit the world trade center, the pentagon, the white house, and the capitol building."
the gentleman turned away from me, uttered something, and dismissed his class.
i rejoined tlrhonda, and sue. we made our way back into our office. in complete silence, we sat staring at the monitor.

"tl, what is going on?" i asked. "there's smoke coming from the bottom of that building?! smoke rises; something is not right!"

tl shrugged his shoulders, "i don't know, but, you're right."

within seconds the building began to collapse!
what i had noticed wasn't smoke at all:
 it was dust from the impending collapse
 i had witnessed pouring from the lobby floor of the south tower.

knowing i was going to accomplish nothing, 
i put away my work, grabbed my phone and keys, 
and told my co-workers i would see them 
in the morning ("God willing," i thought to myself).

i needed to go talk to Him, 
to God.
so, i drove directly to church.
once there, 
i went into our sanctuary,
made my way to the altar,
and began to pray.

that tuesday will forever be etched in my mind,

and those same prayers will forever be in my heart...

they are still here today.

love and GOD'S blessings,
dani xxx


Tanya said...

An unforgettable day! I had a friend at the remembrance service yesterday, she said it was so moving & she'd never wept more in her life, especially when the names of those who lost were read out! My heart goes out to everyone who lost a loved one in this despicable act against mankind!

Little Sweethearts said...

We visited the States when the towers were still standing. An impressive sight. Still so incomprehensible that they are now gone... and with them so many innocent lives.
Big hug,
PS: laptop crashed, internet access reduced, but still taking time to smell the roses ;-) !!!