Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11th

10 years ago I was working in a bookstore in Newport, RI getting ready to open when my co worker came into work and told me about a commuter plane crashing into the World Trade Center.   News junkies that we were, we grabbed an old radio in the back office to listen to updates.   Disbelief and horror were the overriding emotions we felt listening to the morning unfold.

I got a call from Craig who was stationed at the naval base in Newport.   They were getting their information from the television like everyone else.

It was a surreal day. Tourists wandered in, not knowing what to do with themselves. We were all strangers united by grief and I cried with people I'll never see again. We kept our radio on all day to hear as much information as we could.

We closed early that day. I got the call from my district manager giving me permission to close around 3. There were two older women in the bookstore,  tourists,  I told them we were closing for the day and I'll never forget how annoyed they were with me.  They didn't understand the gravity of the situation.

The bridges leading to Newport were closed.  The naval base was on high alert.

I drove home, kissed my husband, called my family in Rochester, and called my friends who worked in Manhattan. We were all okay, but so many weren't. We met up with some Navy and Coast Guard friends at our favorite local dive bar and shared a couple pitchers of beer. There was no music blaring from the jukebox, no darts being thrown, and really no conversation. It was silent companionship and grief watching the world change on television.
Life changed that day. Military life changed  and American life would never be the same.

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