Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years Ago

With today being the 5 year reunion of 9/11 its hard to avoid thinking about it. I remember where I was in graphic detail, as if it happened just days or months ago.

KQRS (radio) has a grrrreat morning show and both my husband (fiance at the time) and I listened to it every morning. Just as I was pulling into the parking lot of my work Tom Bernard of the morning show said, "Oh My God, did you just see that? I'm sorry folks but we have a monitor on in here that scrolls world news and an airplane just flew right into the World Trade Center."

I sat in my car listening to the radio in disbelief. On the radio they were talking about it being some kind of weird accident. I couldn't believe it, it just seemed to unbelieveable. As we all know, a few minutes later another plane hit the other tower. "Another plane just hit!! Another plane just hit the other tower!" The speculation turned to a problem with air traffic control or maybe even, TERRORISM!!!

After the second plane hit I realized that I was then late for work and needed to get inside. As I walked to my desk I could tell that no one in the office knew what was going on. I unfortunately had to be the messenger... I was also the only person in the office with a radio so we tuned in just as the first tower fell. We tried getting online with NYC news stations or papers, but all sites were bogged down with traffic.

From that point on, the day was a blur. TV's were pulled into the lunch room, and people piled in to watch. No one was working, and no one cared...the big bosses were sitting there too.

The company I worked for had IT testing centers all over the world, and my territory happened to be the East coast. I got a phone call shortly after the second tower fell that sticks with me still today. A testing center administrator called bawling. She was calling from home, outside the city, and was practically begging me not to make her go into work. I was dumbfounded... this woman knew that she could get into trouble by not showing up to administer tests, but she was too afraid to leave her house. I told her not to worry, it would be fine and she should stay home until we knew more.

I seriously had been working for the company for 3 weeks on 9/11...and I was the first person in our GLOBAL company to realize that we had testing centers that were was actually in the Trade Center! The strict rules didn't allow people to miss their tests...if they did, they lost their $300+. We had to restructure the rules...for the entire country, and especially for NYC and DC. A meeting was pulled together with the BIGGEST of BIG-WIGS...and little ol' me! They were all grateful for the fact that I had brought it up- super kudos to me for being fast on my feet.

The thing that still sticks out in my mind is the quietness of the skies. We are so used to hearing planes flying over head that we don't even really hear them anymore. For the days that the NO FLY rule was in effect it was CRAZY quiet! When you did hear a plane in the air, your heart raced! The only planes saw for days were fighter jets. Something straight out of Hollywood script.

It's really sad that it took something like this to pull a nation together, but I have to admit that still today it makes me feel good. People talked to complete strangers, smiled, and lived life how we all SHOULD. It's no longer like that, but it's something that we've all experienced and KNOW that it can happen.

No comments: