“9/11” by Ashleen O’Gaea, Tuscon, Arizona

September 11 October 26, 2011 21:35

topic: 9/11 medium: TEXT

as submitted for the “9/11” Open Call

I was just waking up when the phone rang. A friend’s daughter was breathless on the other end of the line. Her parents had left for work moments earlier, and she was almost out the door for the school bus.

“Turn on your TV!”

“What channel?” I asked.

“It doesn’t matter,” she told me, and she was right.

My husband and I stood transfixed before the television screen. It took some time to wrap our heads around the idea that this wasn’t a disaster movie, but the real thing. It took longer still to grasp the magnitude of the event.

While the surreal images of the planes impacting and the towers’ collapse is my foremost visual memory of 9/11, for me the first heartbreak of the event was that it was a child, just 12 years old, who broke the news to me.

In the heroism the events of 9/11 inspired — including the determination of many to resist the urge to hate — there was some mitigation of the horror. My friend’s daughter is 22 now, and has forgotten making that call. But I remember it, and it still makes my soul cringe. Whatever other details escape me as time goes by, I will never forget hearing her small, innocent voice that fateful morning.

Comments are closed