I will start: First, like you, I have a heavy heart. We lost so many Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Children, Friends etc. Words are inadequate. All these years later, I remain in awe of those heroic First Responders and the thousands of others who pitched in….and of course our troops who have been fighting the war on terror for us and continue to do so.
No one who lived through 9/11 can forget that ugly day. We all woke up expecting a routine day but it was anything but. On 9/11, I was seated on an airplane on an active runway at the airport in DC waiting to take off to NYC when the news of the airplane crashes broke. At first, as I read my blackberry and as we sat at the end of the runway waiting our turn to take off, I assumed it was two small planes colliding. Moments later our US Air pilot gave us the grim news.
Our fight was immediately canceled and our plane returned to the gate and we were all told to disembark. I quickly walked back to my car with my husband. We were parked on the rooftop of the lot — about 4 blocks from the Pentagon.
The air space around Reagan airport had been shut down because of the uncertain emergency so it was very quiet …actually it was eerie that it was so quiet. Usually you hear the hum of a busy airport.
Suddenly – out of no where – we heard a plane..I looked up in the air where you expect to see planes — but the plane was already down low below where one looks to see a plane. I looked too high.
We suddenly heard an engine speed up, rev up…then the loud explosion …and the black cloud shooting so high up into the air. The cloud of smoke was jet black but had what seemed like sparkles in it. It was bizarre that such a black cloud could have bright sparkles in it.
I later figured out that the sparkle was tiny particles from the skin of the plane that exploded into the air with the high speed collision with the Pentagon and the bright sun was reflecting off it and making a black cloud have a weird glisten and sparkle.
We were unsure at the time what was going on – but we knew it was horrible. We knew the Pentagon had been hit and we knew it was on fire. What we didn’t know was the magnitude of the horror – everything was very confusing. We did already have the haunting thoughts of just seeing the 2 WTC on fire. We had seen that terrible sight on TV’s in the airport shops as we walked down the tier at the airport returning to our car. Of course you know the rest….