Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Heads or Tails #5 (9/11)

I was driving to court in Joliet on the morning of September 11, 2001 and, when I eventually turned on the radio, I tuned to Mike and Mike on ESPN.

They weren't talking sports.

The first plane had hit.

The first thought I had was that "the Palestinian Air Force" had attacked us -- not that there is such a thing, but I assumed that a terrorist group had hijacked a plane and flown it into the tower in some bizarrely misguided way on behalf of the Palestinian cause.

I had the right part of the world in mind, but not the right "perp." And I lacked the imagination to think about the type of plane that had been commandeered.

And then came the second hit.

The news filtered into my wife's school. She called me in the car. I don't know how reassuring it was, but I told her that I highly doubted that the courthouse in Joliet was on the target list for today.

The judge eventually came out for the morning call, at least a half hour late. I saw her in an adjacent office, watching TV. Torts and contracts weren't really that important just at that moment. But I was still kind of miffed. I wanted to get back to the car -- where I could also listen to the news -- but I had to wait.

Eventually, I went straight home. I thought about going to my office, but I figured things would be crazy downtown and nothing would get done. It was and nothing did get done and I watched TV all day just like everyone else. (For a good part of the day, there was concern that a plane might be headed for the Sears Tower.)

My story is not particularly exciting. My opinions about the lessons learned -- or, mostly, unlearned -- from that terrible day are in the post below.

But one of the people on my Bloglist, Dave, of Rather Than Working, was in New York on September 11, 2001. So, in addition to your "Heads or Tails" browsing today... or tomorrow... when you get to it... you may want to visit Dave. His story is lengthy; it's posted in five parts. Here are links to each of them:
I would recommend also that you visit Cathy's Place. She has hosted a 9/11 Writing Challenge and you can read those entries by following the link provided.


Barb said...

I will indeed make time to visit those links.

I remember when news people were speculating on other possible targets that the Sears Tower was at the top of the list along with Hoover Dam.

I was only 7 when Kennedy was assassinated and not even a twinkle yet for Pearl Harbor.. other days that were similar in so many sad ways.

Anonymous said...

wow, thanks so much for sharing your memories. I will visit those links.

katherine. said...

yes...thanks for the links.

(by the way I have been to the courthouse in Joliet a few times...)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

We all remember that date. It's well we do, so we don't forget.

Sarge Charlie said...

I will never forget, I will never waiver, I will never quit.

Dave said...

Curmudgeon, thanks for the links. I appreciate your technical ability. I think I'm going to cut and paste your links and update the last post, with appropriate citation of course.

In each rememberance that I've read this year there seems to be one common thread. People. You and your wife, me and the people I came across in my enforced stay in New Jersey.

Andree said...

If I listened to the car radio, or to the TV, before work or on the way to work, I would have heard and not gone in. I wish I had. But on the other hand, the students needed us there, too. Thank you for writing.

Anonymous said...

I was cleaning my kitchen cupboards when I heard the news flash. I instantly switched on Sky TV and saw the rest of the horrors unfolding before my unbelievable eyse.

Those poor victims.