Monday, September 11, 2006

Do you remember??

Where were you 5 years ago?? Do you remember? I am sure you do. We all do. I was driving to work on my second day ever as a registered nurse. We had orientation all day, talking about benefits and retirement and sick leave......I missed most of it.
I was driving, and had sports radio on. THere is a goofball that does the morning show, and they were talking about something awful happening, a plane hitting the world trade center. I had heard about when in the 1950's or so a small plane hit one of the buildings. I thought that was it, or that they were doing some sort of skit or something. I grabbed my cell phone, and called Ethan. I woke him up, got him to turn the tv on. I said I was not sure, but I thought something was going on. I wasn't sure if it was a joke or something real. He turned the tv on. It was real. He watched as the second plane slammed into the tower.
I got to work. I went to the auditorium. No one listened to anything that was being said. A TV was set up in a room nearby, and we kept leaving to go see what was happening. So many rumors--there are 8 planes unaccounted for.........a plane is over Pennsylvania, we worried about it hitting a landmark many things. The silence in the skies overhead was deafening. Only the Medic One choppers landing at Harborview. Even some military helicopters landing there, flying in traumas from the bases or other parts of the state.

We were all so new, we didn't have badges yet, and the hospital was locked down. There is a tunnel leading from the research and training building to the actual hospital, and we were led down there and escorted into the hospital. No one without a badge was allowed to enter. I am sure people in the ER freaked.

At home, I watched the news. I bought a newspaper, one of the Times and one of the PI and I put them into my cedar chest still intact. I need to remember this. I bought more on the 12th. I watched the news. I watched from the time I got home until the time I went to sleep.

I bought the Time and People special edition magazines that documented the fall of the buildings and everything leading up to that. I watched more news stories.

A week or so later, the city of Seattle wanted to do SOMETHING, and they filled the international fountain and part of the Seattle Center with flowers. I bought two bouquets at Pike Street and went to the Center, along with thousands of other people. So many flowers!! An unbelievable outpouring. I took pictures of fire trucks, with flags reflected in their windows.

People put little flags onto their car antennaes. Flags were everywhere. I felt so patriotic! US Legislators sang 'God save America', we all learned a new song. I still cry whenever I hear it.

Slowly, this outpouring of grief nationwide became one of suspicion and mistrust, and a tragedy became a political point. I took the flag off of my car. I turned my back on the flag during the national anthem at Sonics games. I did not agree with the decisions being made in MY NAME by those in power in the government. I was ashamed to be an American. I felt bad about being so wholeheartedly against what my country was doing.

I will never forget. I have several beautiful photo books chronicling the events of 9/11. I have a book telling the account of one surviving burn victim. Hearing 'God Bless America' still brings a tear to my eye. That was a day the world changed. MY world changed.

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