I have to take a moment from daily life, art, family...and remember 9/11/2001, a day of immense sadness and grief. I was working at the Washington Navy Yard, my day started at 0600 and all seemed normal. Had to cross the 14th Street bridge every day to and from Virginia into the District. That meant passing the Pentagon, which stood strong and sturdy, an enduring symbol of America. I was working on the secure floor at the Yard and remember hearing a lot of commotion from another office. That's when it started, watching the TV and the shock of seeing the Twin Towers. Then there was a shocking sound and another news alert. By this time, our whole building was in lockdown. People were crying and just wandering in disbelief. But then worry set in...our families, our children, what was happening to them? Were they safe, where were they? Finally, the Admiral got word to start releasing us. I took a bus to work and worried about how I'd get home. Traffic in this area is horrible. I-95 can be one long parking lot. Fortunately, one of the ladies grabbed me and said she'd secured us rides. We figured we'd be in traffic for hours. Seven of us loaded into one small car, but no one minded.
Got on the highway, no traffic. Talk about eerie, seeing those empty roads. Honestly, we were shocked, but we were quiet and afraid of what lie ahead. We smelled the Pentagon before we saw the building, although we saw the most ugly plumes of black smoke billowing up into the air. As we drove under an overpass, in the median stood a man waving a huge American flag very slowly. It was as though, in that moment, time moved in slow motion, we watched him wave the Flag back and forth. It was saying "We're not going down."
The Marines were already stationed at roads into the Pentagon, armed to the teeth. It was a grim sight which turned even worse as we came up onto I-395. The smell was acrid, biting, the sight of the fire licking at the building made us cry, the wail of sirens added to the shock. And there was very little traffic for nearly 23 miles home. It was all so unbelievable. We listened to the radio in absolute awe of what was happening. The Twin Towers were down, it was unspeakable. God, Allah, Yahweh, He/She must have wept. Heroes came forward, sacrificed their lives for others and showed what America is made of. Average, ordinary Americans stepped up and stayed strong. The terrorists might have celebrated, but on 9/11 heroes, brave and strong, stepped into the fray and showed what real strength is all about. 9/11...a day of tears, a day of sadness, a day many angels came down and escorted over 3,000 Americans up to ultimate victory, snatching away whatever glory the terrorists thought they would have, and a day never to be forgotten. Lynn
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