September 11, ’13
I live in Northwest Connecticut.
On the morning of Sept 11, ’01 I was driving to work on Rt 4, heading west toward Sharon Ct and into New York State.
It was a beautiful day. Sunny and warm – a perfect late summer day…. I’d left home early that morning so I could get to work by 8:45. It was a 40 minute drive for me and I’d spent half of the time being in a bad head over the fact that my brand new computer had crashed and dumped a grant application I’d been working on.
20 minutes into the drive I made a conscious decision to let it go and enjoy the day. Which I was doing – enjoying the beauty of that day.
Almost half way to my destination:
Starting from the bottom of a long and steep hill I was in a tunnel of shade caused by the trees alongside the road. But as I neared the top I was heading toward a wide area of light with an orchard and some buildings on the left and a large cornfield up ahead on the right. Coming from the dark tunnel I burst into the light and as I did so, a huge passenger jet appeared up ahead a bit and to the right, as if from nowhere, flying so low I could read the insignia on the side. It seemed to be but inches over the tree tops. It appeared to be moving very slowly, as if coming in for a landing somewhere close by. And because it was early in the morning, a little after 8 a.m., the silvery colored jet appeared to be pink and yellow from the color of the rising sun to the east. I was heading west and the jet was heading to the southwest when our paths crossed.
I was awe-struck, dumb-founded…. As if I’d spotted a rare and unusual bird. A low-flying, American Airlines jet was the last thing I would have ever expected to see there that morning.
Our encounter was perhaps a ten second duration. It flew over, I passed under it and through the shadow it cast on the road. I made a mental note to myself to be sure to watch the news that night as a low flying jet was surely newsworthy.
I didn’t have to wait until the 6 ‘o’ clock news to hear more about the jet I’d seen. A little over an hour later, I discovered that the jet was surely newsworthy and for many days later, on TV, I saw videos of that jet — over and over and over again — crashing and exploding, crashing and exploding — into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
I take the same route to this place where I work once a week and have done for the past 12 years. I never pass that spot where I passed through the shadow of the 2nd jet on 9/11/01 without saying a prayer for the victims that day — the ones who were killed in the towers and the rest of us who were radically changed and the memory of that day indelibly tattooed into our beings.
Today was no different.