September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Story:I was at a customer's house doing house cleaning. It was getting near time for "The Price is Right," so I turned on the television. At first I thought it was just a terrible accident, then the pictures flashed from the burning towers to the Pentagon building. The faces of the newsmen were grim and their voices sounded sluggish and exhausted. The word that stood out was "attack." Suddenly I felt very nervous and afraid. I just wanted to get my babies and go home where it was 'safe.'
Then I saw the buildings collaspe. I finished my cleaning job (very quickly and totally in a trance). What was going on outside? Were my children safe? My mind just kept screaming at me to get home.
Once I got to the school, the staff was on full security alert. That made me even more nervous. I'd never had to show identification to sign my children out of school. Parents were arriving in droves to pick up their children. I couldn't speak. My children wanted to know why they were getting out early. All I could say was 'some crazy people flew airplanes into buildings and killed a lot of innocent people.'
I couldn't stop watching the television. I didn't want to, but something just pulled me to find out what happened. I believed in my heart that they would find many people alive in the lower levels of the buildings. I just knew that people were going to come out of that basement, with the help of the rescue squads. Despite the fires, the devastation... I held out hope and prayed that hundreds would be found in those lower levels...
My brother works in DC and one of my sisters travels alot on her job. We called around until we knew everyone was safe.
I wanted to cry, but I didn't want to upset my boys. I wanted to scream. I wanted it all to be a nightmare that I would wake up from.
Memory:My strongest memory was the feeling that 'the home of the free and the brave' had been betrayed. I remember how I suddenly felt so insecure. How could my country allow this to happen? We are supposed to be the strongest, the most sophisticated country in the world. How come no one knew? How come this was not prevented. The images of those towers falling haunt me to this day. I cannot look at pictures of them without imagining the terror those trapped inside must have felt. And to have them come down like that...I often (still after all this time), wonder if they knew. What about the ones that were almost out? They were crushed when they were so close to getting back home to their loved ones. It haunts me still and it hurts...So many families devastated, so many promising lives lost.
Affects:While taking a health class earlier this year, I was relieved to know that I'm not the only one in the world who feels the anxiety that I do. I look at tall buildings and imagine a 110 ft building coming down. I see airplanes flying low and become afraid. I started having anxiety attacks. I have no faith in the security of this country. I didn't want the terrorist to win, but they did - by taking away my sense of security in my own homeland. I spend a lot of time with my children. I'm actually afraid to go into a tall building and I will never fly again unless I'm in a casket.
I've seen nothing the US has done to make me feel better. Police departments (i.e., the Park Police, border patrol, etc.) are understaffed, low on resources, funding, etc., Everytime a new law is enacted to better secure the country, some legal rights group comes along and says, "hey, that ain't fair - you're stepping on peoples rights." Meanwhile the border police are understaffed and can't stop the flow of people coming in (a great way for terrorist to just jump a fence and make themselves at home)to plan another worst attack.
I think people in this country, despite the flag waving and USA chants are more on edge. They seem to be more 'every man for himself' than ever before. They seem to be more aggitated. They are feeling insecure, maybe angry... I don't feel we have the brotherhood that we should. An event like this should have bought us closer together. It seems to have separated us further. Everyone in their own little world.. everyone collecting their water bottles, building their safety bunkers, hoarding duct tape - waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Not finding Bin Laden after all this time? Again, my confidence in the leadership of this country is at its' lowest point ever.