Judith - midwest


I went in to work that day September 11, 2001.

We played music, we joked and chatted.

We were hundreds of miles from NYC and Pennsylvania and

Washington, D.C. The first bit of news

we heard was only that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

We knew obviously that it would be catastrophic. A building like that, a commercial airliner. In retrospect, of course we had no idea of the devastating loss of life.

Little by little we heard the news on a cheap am radio we have in the office.

When I went home for my break, I called my Mom right away.

I have no TV and live in a rural area where I receive only the poorest of radio signals.

So, I listened over the long distance phone line as the news of the second plane was just reaching the airwaves.

I thought of my friend Fran who works in the financial district. Wondering about her safety.

I went online a few hours after the planes hit the WTC and saw a real player video of the second plane crashing.

It was unbelievable, inconceivable.

I was 600 miles away but the agony of knowing the loss of life would be great was

devastating. I have been to NYC and seen the majestic WTC. 

I didn’t have any relatives involved directly,

but, nonetheless, as an American,  as a human being, I felt it,

the unfathomable loss.

I had to return to work that afternoon, bleary-eyed from crying and

in a state of shock.

I work in a small town U.S.A. Post Office.

I waited on people at the window.

I felt guilty to be functioning, ya know.

Everything just felt wrong.

That state of unknowingness was horrible.

There was a definite feeling of fearful suspense from most people who were

trying to go about their daily lives.

The foreboding sense of what will or could happen next.

I think the next day was even worse.

I felt guilty for getting out and going to work as if it were just another day.

Everything just felt so very wrong.

Since I could not conceal my heavy heart with a *just another day* facade,

many stopped for a moment and discussed the tragedy.

Each of us reaching out as best we could.

Our disbelief, our sorrow, our very real anger.

 I had one or two tell me to have a nice day.

I had to tell them I don't think so, not today.

And they would nod their head in an understanding way.

I guess all we can do is grieve for all those precious lives lost.

For all the brave rescue workers who perished.

We can grieve for the inconsolable loved ones left behind to face a world

forever changed.


Oct 24, 2001

I wrote the words above right after the attack.

Everything still feels wrong.

~ Judith