Thursday, September 11, 2008

Or did you just sit down and cry?

Seven years ago, I had just turned 18. I was living overseas --Azores Islands, Portugal to be exact-- and I was at work in the base newspaper/public affairs office. The morning started out just like every other morning.

All of a sudden, our Portuguese civilain in the office, Mr. Lima, suddenly after hearing something on the Portuguese radio reporting something jumped up (scaring me in the process) and hurredly turned the tv on. And there it was. The first of the two towers was engulfed in flames. Within minutes the whole office (all 4 or 5 of us) was standing in front of the tv. Seconds later, I was collapsing into a chair and silently freaking out. I had a close friend in New York City at that time. It took all I had not to lose it there in front of everybody, including the brand new base commander, who by this time, had walked by the office, saw us all staring at the TV with jaws dropped, had come it and joined in the shock.

What's ironic to me, is that day was the day that had been chosen the week bofore for me to audition for the base protocal office to sing the National Anthem for an upcoming commanders call. Hours after seeing the terror, I auditioned to sing the the National Anthem for a commanders call. And what song did I audition with? The Star Spangled Banner. It was quite the struggle to get through it. When the audition was over, I returned just in time to see the second tower get hit. And all the worry and panic and fear came bursting through. It was just too much. I broke down. I was amazing to me to have several people, all of different faiths, comfort me with the same words. "It's okay. God is watching over him. God will protect him. Just have faith. Turn it over to God."

Needless to say, there wasn't a whole lot of work that got done that day. There were several tears, freak outs and stresses that day and for the next few days to come after that.

To this day, I can't forget. I don't want to forget. I never will forget.


  1. I'll never forget either. What a vivid memory that will be forever in history.

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  3. Sorry, posted before I should've!

    I was sitting at my desk and saw it on, and kept refreshing my screen for updates and reading them outloud to our office.

    Then I had to calm one of our (Azorean) employees because her family member had set out from Logan in an American Airlines flight that morning. Not one of the flights.

    I will never forget...and I'll do whatever I can to keep those around me from forgetting.

    RE: Azores...