“Look Mama, a plane!” My 9/11 Story

Saturday, September 8, 2001, I had driven around town, with the windows down, playing a Dusty Springfield cd (“Son of a Preacher Man”) and just enjoying a day in America.  I lived in just north of Albany, NY, about 15 minutes from the airport. Planes flew overhead on a regular basis. I barely noticed them.

Tuesday morning, I woke up and felt a tightness in my stomach because I was worried about my 6-year-old son. The day before he had encountered a bully. I stopped on the top step to pray about it, and I felt peace.

I drank two or three cups of coffee, jumped in the shower, and got dressed. I woke up my son. He ate some cereal and got dressed. We started for the front door, running late, as usual.

We stepped outside and my son looked up at the sky and said, “Look Mama, a plane!” I looked up and saw the plane on my right, but I heard it on my left.  I watched as the plane see-sawed back and forth, flying lower than normal.  I felt a chill come over me, that something was happening on that plane, that people were scared, and that someone evil was in control. I quickly dismissed the thought from my mind, telling myself, “That doesn’t happen in this country.”

I dropped my son at school, and proceeded to drive to work.  Soon after I arrived, a co-worker told me that a plane had hit one of the buildings in NYC. I thought, you know, I saw a weird plane this morning. I wonder if it’s connected? Of course, at this point, we figured it was an accident.  When we heard that the second plane had hit the second building, we came to the realization that something was going on!

We then heard that there was an explosion at the Pentagon. It was all surreal. How can this happen? Didn’t we learn anything from Pearl Harbor?

As the day went on, we were glued to a certain news website. No work was done that day in our office. We were in shock.

That evening, my son came home from school, and said, “Mama, I forgot to bring home my math homework.”

I hugged him, so glad that he was ok, and told him, “It doesn’t matter.”

That day, that day. Everything changed that day. We learned that the world is bigger than just our little lives. We learned that we citizens need to pay more attention to what our government is doing. We learned again that friends and family are more important than possessions.

I never look at planes quite the same way, either.

2 thoughts on ““Look Mama, a plane!” My 9/11 Story

  1. What a relief it must have been to have your son home that day, worried about forgetting his homework. You’re so right, our families and friends are what really matter in life…everything else can be replaced..


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