Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It seemed nonsensical

** warning: this post contains images from 9/11 that some readers may find difficult to view**

I was working as a medical receptionist in a busy dermatology practice.

One of our patients came in and said "a plane just crashed into the twin towers".

We just stared at him. What an odd thing to say. It seemed nonsensical.

He stared at us blankly as we began to process his intake. Looking back he was probably wondering why we weren't more interested in his announcement.

A few minutes later our head nurse informed us that we were under attack. Her husband was retired Secret Service, and still did some consulting for the government. His phone had started ringing off the hook, and he stopped long enough to call his wife and let her know what was going on.

One of the medical assistants headed to the basement to turn on the one television in the building.

The lead doctor came out and informed us that his wife, a State Representative, had been told to leave the city.

He made it very clear. They weren't told to evacuate the building (being a government building), but to leave the city, to be out of the metropolitan area.

We finished work, probably a little quieter than normal. Took turns going to the basement for a few minutes at a time to catch updates. Got updates from patients as they came in.

The President was in the air. The Vice President was in a bunker. Fighter jets were scrambled over the Capitol. We had been attacked. We were being attacked.

The next morning I remember watching the news as I was getting ready for work. Instead of showing the latest from the New York Stock Exchange, they were reporting on the Nikkei. A sign of what had happened, of how it affected our world.


I lived near a major international airport at the time. The "no fly" rule put in place from border-to-border immediately changed our skies. You don't realize how much planes are a part of the background of your daily life until you don't see them.

And I distinctly remember days later, the first time I saw a plane back up in the sky, and how eerie it felt.


The weeks and months that followed sealed the fact that our lives were changed forever. My generation had never been thru anything even remotely close to this.

We would receive faxes from the CDC and other government agencies regarding the latest bio-hazard threats. We were trained on how to triage patients who suspected they may have cutaneous anthrax.


Friends went to war. Came home. Went back. Rinse. Repeat. Care packages got sent.

One is there. Again. Fourth tour.


There's no doubt about it, our lives changed forever in the blink of an eye. As much as we have, 12 years later, settled into "normal", you cannot dispute that the normal of today is much different than the normal prior to 9/11. In addition, the acts of that day have, and will continue to change the way our country approaches a multitude of subjects.

So, dear readers.... where were you when our country changed?

this post inspired by this post


wizkey said...

I was home asleep in bed. A friend called, woke me up and told me to turn on the TV. I was in shock and started crying when I saw what happened. My kids were 9 and 6 and didn't understand what had happened or why I was crying. For months after that I wouldn't get out of bed until I had turned on the TV to see the morning news.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

I had just dropped my husband off at the bus to go to work (-we are west coast, but often in NY city as husband is from the east coast), and listening to the radio we first thought this was yet another of the 'usual' attacks on the twin towers like back in 1993. Then after I dropped him off I headed home and watched the towers fall on TV and just cried and cried. I was supposed to be going to the state fair that day and refused not to go as I felt that would be giving in to the terrorists. I now know I am more of a fight than flight kind of girl. 10 days later went on a planned trip to Disneyland that my parents were supposed to join us for. Again, refused not to go through with plans. I distinctly remember Australians in Disneyland telling us how bad they felt for us. I told them how I had been crying every day since it happened. And then, finally I stopped crying the next day. It was as if acknowledging it made me finally able to stop and being in the happiest place on earth was certainly a help!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...