I never forget the horrible Tuesday, as I stood in front of my bathroom over-the-sink mirror, attempting to put on mascara, in the reflection, I could see the bedroom television, set on channel 7-news, at that moment streaming the horrific image of one of the twin towers on flames. I turned around, and inched closer to the television set, increasing the volume; I stared in disbelief, hoping that what I was seeing on the screen was a preview to a movie stunt – because I wasn’t going to allow myself to believe what I was hearing was real.
Never realizing that the rest of the day and weeks to follow would be one of the worst I have experienced in my lifetime – as the news of multiple (air) attacks on our nation spread.
After watching the news on repeat for an hour, I assumed I needed to report to work, not really knowing what was expected of me during a national crisis of this caliber. So I left the house in a state of shock, and drove to Stanford University, where I was manager of the on-campus student travel agency. During my 40-mile commute along an unusually traffic-free highway, I wondered if I was doing the right thing going into to work, more so when I sensed the uncommonly quiet across the skies, more obvious as I passed SFO International.
Upon unlocking the door to the shop, which was located in the student-union building, I noticed a crowd of students and faculty gathered around a television set, starting some in silence, some crying, while others vocalizing-trying to make sense of it all. Those familiar to me gave me a hug, or I sensed needed a hug, and we stood there in tears, fearful…that there would be someone any of us knew on the UA flight bound for San Francisco, or in the towers, or the Pentagon, and sure enough, our worst of fears came to be when the list of the victims was released.
Our nation, currently very divided and overly vocal about matters of politics, and all else defining our country, must reflect upon these unfortunate events, to understand what unity, patriotism and heroism truly means.