The day for me started like a normal one. I was living with my parents, I awoke on a late summer Nebraska morning. I prepared for work in the call center of the first insurance company I worked for. My fiancé (now husband) and I were a mere 11 days from saying “I do”, but planning went amazingly smooth, so I don’t remember feeling an overwhelming amount of stress.
I was at my desk working on a policy history for one of our clients and drinking my coffee when one of my coworkers came in and breathlessly asked “Have you guys seen the news? A plane just hit one of the Twin Towers in New York!” She sat down at her desk and pulled up a major news network’s website just as the second plane hit.
We were all in disbelief. Was this happening? HOW was this happening? To be honest, I don’t remember much else that day, other than not getting any additional work done, and wanting to be on the phone checking on loved ones all day. Each one of us had various news sources up on our computer monitors, unable to look away. When news came in about the Pentagon and then the fourth plane, I remember several of my coworkers collapsing in tears. I remember feeling numb. Numb and lost.
My fiancé called and told me that I should put gas in my car before going home. The line for the gas station I frequented at the time wrapped around the block, but I waited. I got home, and honestly didn’t know what else to do.
The days that followed were a blur. More details emerged about the event being a terrorist attack and who was responsible. An uprising of patriotism like nothing I e ever seen happened in our country, with flags flying in every yard, in every business. People were watching out for their neighbors, even if they didn’t know them well. We were all in it together.
Five days later, my maternal grandmother passed away. She had been suffering from dementia and was in a constant state of fear from it. She didn’t know anyone anymore. Didn’t remember she had grandchildren. She would tell my mother that her husband, my grandfather, who passed in 1981, was coming to visit her and wanted her to go with him. Her funeral was three days before my wedding.
Here in Nebraska, as sad as it is to say, during years when we’re not involved in a pandemic, if a fall wedding is planned, you plan at least a year in advance, and choose the bye week for the Huskers….if you want people to show up for your wedding and not insist on a TV or constant updates on scores. My fiancé and I had done just that. However, with the terror attacks, the game scheduled for the 15th was rescheduled….and the original thought was that it would be moved to the following week…the bye week. My wedding day. The powers that be decided that a Thursday game was preferable, thank goodness.
So where were you 19 years ago?