It was a typical Arizona morning. The sun was just coming up in a cloudless sky. The radio popped on just in time to hear the announcer say a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in NYC. About the same time Mom, who was then staying with us, called upstairs to find out if we had heard the news. We quickly turned on the television and saw the camera focused on the crash. Looking we realized from the giant hole that it must be commercial flight, not a small plane, and we wondered how a plane could crash into such a building on such a clear day. As we were watching another large airliner came in to view, flying low over the city. It seemed out of place but we didn’t realize until it hit the second tower what was happening.
Oh My God. . . our hearts stopped. Did the clock? It seemed that time paused those initial moments as we watched our country attacked. We all stared, unbelieving, at the television. How could this happen? Who could do this to us? No one moved from the TV. Everything was forgotten as we shared the horror with our countrymen. How many innocent people were on the airplanes? How many in the buildings?
And then. . . could it be worse? News of the plane crashing into the Pentagon. News started coming in about another plane down. Most of the footage centered on the towers as access to the capitol was closed. We watched, gasping, as people, trapped on floors above the carnage, jumped to certain death. And. . . then, it was worse as both towers collapsed entombing thousands forever.
In days following we learned about the heroism of the people on Flight 93 and wondered, “Could we be as brave?”
The terror we felt can in no way be measured against those living in New York and DC or of the families who lost their loved ones. We were bystanders. Yet, we were united together as we cried, our hearts aching for those lost on that fateful day.