Bullet The Blue Sky


I wasn’t there. I wasn’t even close. The most vivid recollection is how blue the sky was that Tuesday morning.

It’s 8:56 am edt. Exactly 10 minutes after the first plane hit the first tower. About this time is when my co-worker ran into my office and said

“a plane just hit one of the twin towers, I think it’s a terrorist attack.”

My colleague was an ex Army engineer. He had investigated the terrorist bombing in the American Embassy Kenya, committed by Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaeda, He was the closest to an expert I knew. Our office, located in suburban Atlanta, Georgia; employed 33 people. Only 5 of them, including me, were American born. People from Columbia, Mexico, Iraq, and the Bahamas made up the other 25. All of us crowded around two televisions for several hours.

When the second plane hit, I just went numb. I know someone hugged me. I think I had phone calls from families. I just can’t recall the rest. The world just seemed wrong. That’s the word I use. Wrong. We are America. People, ultimately, like us. We stand for freedom, opportunity, victory, and specialness. Suddenly I realized, we weren’t special. We were hated and targeted. This happened in some unknown country where they didn’t care about each other. I was like the day. Wrong.

There is a cynical view that that day, that blue skied Tuesday, didn’t change anything or anyone. We obsessed over Jennifer Lopez wearing a scarf as a dress the day before. We will obsess about a Kardashian or a dancing c-list star tomorrow. I disagree. I changed. It is hard for me relate to people I knew before that blue skied Tuesday 10 years ago. It’s why I failed at facebook, don’t attend reunions, and rarely speak to people who I don’t think “have grown”. I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago. My politics changed. My religion changed. My self worth changed. The kind of man I wanted to be changed. That blue skied Tuesday morning set in motion a series of new beginnings that put me where I am today.

My office closed it’s doors about 3 hours early that day. I think I drove around for a while and listened to what was happening in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, on the radio. I’ll never forget my tears. At some point, this song came on the radio. It was written during the middle of Irish band U2′s American tour in 1986, 15 years before that blue skied Tuesday morning happened. The lyrics are shockingly appropriate.

*blogger* note – This is for http://www.studiothirtyplus.com “New Beginnings” and  http://www.writeonedge.com ‘s

Here’s U2′s Bullet The Blue Sky.

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8 responses to “Bullet The Blue Sky

  1. I had just dropped off my youngest at school and heard the news on the radio as I drove home. My husband works on an Air Force Base. I called him and he told me the base was on full lock down. I think that, as much as anything, scared the bejeebus out of me.

  2. I think people allow themselves to be distracted by the silly, because it is scary to sit still and face certain realities. The reality that thousands died, hundreds of thousands were directly mourning a loved one, and millions had tangible changes to their lives (commutes, jobs lost/gained, needing to move, what they saw out their window each morning) is hard to grasp.
    I changed. I had a very hard time, curled up into myself.
    It was about a year later I saw a photo of myself and i was so skinny. So not me-looking, and I noticed. i had changed into someone who let tragedy eat away at her. So I had to make another change.
    I’m guessing there are people who changed but don’t want to admit it, because they think it would give power to the bad guys. I wish I could tell those faux-cynics that bad guys can do stuff to us, but we hold the power in how we respond. So they can, in fact, never win unless we let them.
    Great post. Now, off to watch your bday video.

  3. I think being from the UK and so very far away, I could only watch in horror. I remember it very vividly, as ten years ago to the very day I discovered I was pregnant with my eldest daughter. I sat glued to the TV all day and realised that my small life on the other side of the pond was so very insignificant.

    Great post, my heart goes out to you all.

  4. I wonder if 9/11 changed me politically — spurned me to action. I’m not sure because I was not as inundated with the news as most were (just moved to a new city & no TV) so I didn’t feel like its immediacy like others. Either way, 9/11 certainly changed America and Americans — in good ways and terrible ways.

  5. It’s funny I had a similar realization the following day. Throughout the day on the 11th I had been e-mailing a friend in London. It took me hours to get home because every firm in Boston sent their employees home before noon. My friend e-mailed me on the 12th to find out if I had gotten home and to ask how I was doing. I said something about the whole situation being unreal. Having grown up in Northern Ireland and seen his share of violence, he said something like, “It isn’t unreal. It’s very real. You just never experienced it this close to home before.”

    Great post–and you never go wrong with U2.

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