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[personal profile] hdsqrl
[Error: unknown template qotd]I was driving to work and flipped on the car radio.  I didn't listen to the news, but heard the pattern of speech and punched a different button in search of music.  More talking. *punch* More talking.  WTF?  Talking on every station?  Argh, fine, I guess I'll get the news, then.  

And then I listened.  My jaw dropped.  I looked around at the other drivers, wondering if what I was hearing was some kind of War of the Worlds-ish joke, and no one seemed stressed about anything.  As I listened, I fell into a state of shock and worry over my kids.  My kids!  They were at school!  Would they be sent home?  Do they even know?  Do I need to find a way to get out of work?  What do I do??  I got to work and ran inside (I was working at a call center at the time) and the TVs that hung from the ceiling that normally displayed our call stats were showing a very grainy news broadcast (they weren't hooked to cable, so they found the best broadcast station they could get), and everyone was on their feet, staring open-mouthed at the images of the planes hitting, again, again, again.

I called my kids' school and was told that school would continue as normal in order to keep things on an even keel for the kids.  All I could do was login, put on my headphones, and wait to see if anyone would call for tax help.  Very few did, and I remember I had had a customer chat with me via email a few days' prior, and that he had told me he worked in the Pentagon and that if I was ever in the area, to let him know and he'd give me a tour.  I dug up his email address and sent him a note, saying that I hoped he was okay, and that all of us were praying for him and everyone else over there.   It was months before I heard back from him (understandably) but I DID hear back, and his office was right next to where the plane hit.  He was okay, thankfully, but very shaken.  I don't think we emailed again after that.  He was the only person I knew in direct connection with the attack.

This past summer, I went to NYC and hoped to be able to see Ground Zero up close to pay my respects, but it was just a big hole in the ground with a bunch of construction equipment sitting around it.  Next month I'm slated to head that way again and will be working in one of the remaining World Financial Center buildings, so I should be able to look right down into the area.  I'm a little nervous about that, because of the emotion I suspect will swell up.

I don't have the words for how the events hold meaning for me now, other than I'm very glad to live in this country, and very glad to have the men and women supporting us throughout the world.  We're very very lucky to live in this country.  I need to go home and hug my kids again.  'Night, all.

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