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  •  It was the second time it could have been my dad. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri, RenaRF, G2geek, Onomastic

    When TWA 800 crashed, my father was a pilot for that airline who captained 747s to Europe. By 2001, TWA had been bought out by American, and dad was flying pretty much anywhere in the US and was frequently in New York.

    And apparently everyone else he knew had the same thought, because his phones were tied up most of the day. It was past sunset when his wife finally got in contact with me to let me know that he'd been in St. Louis and had been charged with moving the planes off the runways after they grounded everything.

    At the time, I was a student at Kansas State University. I spent the morning in a doctor's office in Topeka getting an MRI on my knee. My appointment was set for 8am and I was running a couple minutes late. I remember the first interaction I had with anyone that day being the receptionist, whose eyes were glued with a look of panic on the television in the waiting room. I turned around and saw two buildings that didn't really register with me, one of which was on fire, and then I saw the second plane hit.

    They put a radio in the room with me while they did the imaging on my knee, so I didn't see the buildings collapse live. The rest of that day is a haze. I remember a report about a car bomb outside the State Department. I remember going to my mom's house in Topeka to get online, and that I couldn't access any news sites so I was depending on instant messages with a friend of mine. And I remember that the radio was broken in my car, so my drive back to Manhattan was silent, punctuated only with my repeated words "Holy shit" for the whole duration across the oddly empty highways.

    And then I remember sitting in my dorm room and not going to class or leaving for any reason other than to go to the dining halls for two weeks, just glued to the screen watching FoxNews repeat their film of the tragedy over and over.

    "I set up a stage, put up a few banners, stuck a podium up there, and started shouting 'Yes we can.' Next thing you know there's 150,000 people here." -Joe

    by Geiiga on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 09:43:00 AM PDT

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