Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Ago Today

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was supposed to be flying to Seattle. It was to be a business trip for a series of meetings that got canceled and rescheduled at the last minute, though, so instead of going to the airport that morning, I drove in to the office, in my Mazda with the broken radio.

None of my co-workers were in their cubicles. Instead, they were all in the conference room down the hall, watching the big TV. I caught the editor and asked what the meeting was about. She said, "Didn't you hear?"


Five years later, what I think of now is the silence. My office is about a mile off the end of the major east-west runway. When I first started here, I was annoyed by the constant rumble of aircraft passing overhead, but after a month or so it just became background noise. Then came the morning of 9/11, the immediate grounding of all air traffic in the country, and for three days the skies were filled with a terrible, oppressive silence, broken only by the occasional nerve-wracking roar of the F-16's on combat air patrol passing overhead.

That's our writer's exercise for today. Sound, sight, smell, taste, touch; is there one "sense cue" that you associate with 9/11, and if so, what was it?