I remember 5 years ago today. I had an appointment in the morning and did not arrive to work at Midway Airlines until just after 9 am. I had not turned on the radio in the car, so I knew nothing of what had happened. I said hello to my colleagues when Carrie told me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I was completely confused. My first question to her was "How did the pilot not see the building?" I quickly asked how they would get the plane out of the building. Was there a crane tall enough to lift out the plane? I assumed the plane in question was a small private plane that somehow got off course. Carrie told me the airplane was American Airlines. I still did not understand what she was talking about. How could an American Airlines plane get so far off radar that it hit a building?
As news reports came in, things began to become clearer. I remember our director bursting out of his office to say a plane had hit The Pentagon. I remember the frantic scramble to make sure that our own planes made it to the ground safely. I remember watching the towers fall on TV.
I remember being so happy to hear my friend Devi's voice. She was an international flight attendant for United working from NYC. She had been asleep during the attacks and only awakened when her father called her. I reached her on the first try at about noon. I remember thanking my lucky stars that both Devi's dad and I were able to get through. Too many people could not get through to their loved ones.
I remember watching TV all night watching the recaps of the day, the names of the dead scrolling the bottom of the screen, and the debris where 2 buildings had stood 24 hours earlier. I will remember 9/11/01 always.