Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years ago.

Five years ago today I was a junior in high school. The loudspeaker called us into the auditorium, and Geoff said that planes crashed into some buildings in New York, and I didn't believe him. No way, we were just in trouble again. Trash in the hallways, gossip, bad sportsmanship at a soccer game (things that were offenses at Annapolis Area Christian School).

I remember feeling disbelief even when it was official, announced by our principal. We were sent back to our classes, and someone found a radio. I was in Mrs. Brown's English class. It seemed like we were in a war decades ago, huddled around the radio for news. The people talking on the radio were hesitant. They didn't want to sound hysterical, so they announced information in uncertain terms: "As far as we know..." "I'm being told now that..." "It seems to be...". Responsible journalism.

I called my mom on my cell and it took a few tries to go through, but I got her. She taught at the middle school. When she announced it to her class of 7th graders, a little girl raised her hand: "My dad works at the Pentagon." How do you respond to that?

My dad didn't work at the Pentagon, but he was flying that day. From Birmingham to Baltimore, and I couldn't reach him. I knew he was okay but I wanted to hear him.

I got Jay, a freshman, and picked up Grace from the middle school and went home, driving carefully. The radio wasn't playing any music.

I remember going to Wednesday night dinner at church and feeling outraged. Normal life was still happening. We were gathering, talking, eating, laughing. The next night a few friends got together at Robbie's. We watched the President speak and I was comforted by the Bible verses and his strong words. It is so different now.

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