Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2001

Yowza. Has it been that long? Oh well, here goes.

I was wearing a white t-shirt that said "denim blues" across the chest, and a pair of black shorts with a white stripe down the outsides. I was planning to swap cars with my boss (back when I was an automotive journalist -- I was test driving a blue Chrysler Town and Country) and then I was going to the gym. I was making a piece of toast for my two-year-old daughter when my mom called. "Are you watching T.V.?" she asked.

"No, I'm just about to leave," I said.

"Turn on your T.V." she said.

As the T.V. flickered to life, the screen showed a live shot of smoke billowing from a sky scraper, somewhere in New York City, I assumed. What a sad day. What a sad and terrible day. We lived just outside of Houston and what I remember most is how quiet everything became. Nothing in the sky. No train horns in the distance (we lived about a 1/2 mile from a railroad crossing). Fighter jets would occasionally pass overhead, defending the Johnson Space Center. A few days later I met my sister at a Target store; we had both needed to tear ourselves away from the television. The place was deserted. It didn't seem right to be there.

But do you know what else I remember? The next day. The unity. The way perfect strangers on the street were a little friendlier to each other. The way our neighborhood looked. You couldn't see the trees for the flags. Everyone went to church to pray, sing, and cry. Life as we knew it had changed.

I put a flag in my front yard today. I'll leave it there tomorrow as well.

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