Sunday, September 11, 2016

15 years ago.....

15 years later.  This was my story.  It was a Tuesday morning like any other.  I was working on a farm in PA, just outside of Pittsburgh.  Got to work, loaded up the Gator, went out to feed the 100+ horses that lived outside.  Finished up.  It was a little muddy out, and the Gator needed hosing off, but I went
inside to get a drink before heading back out.  And as I passed the cleaning crew working on the stalls on one side of the barn, one of the guys said, "Dawn did you hear what happened?"  And I asked what he was talking about, and he said "A plane hit the World Trade Center."

Silence, and then a laugh.  You have to understand, the guy was a goober, who listened to Howard Stern while he cleaned.  "Did Howard tell you that?" "Yeah, but it's real."

More silence, followed by a mad dash to the viewing room.

This was not your typical horse farm. Large, landscaped farm with climate controlled indoor riding ring, as well as several other rings.  And, of course, a large theater room to show clients videos of
horses on the "big screen".

And that was how I watched 9/11 unfold.  On a large screen, about 80 miles from where flight 93 crashed.

I turned on the screen and listened in horror as the commentators discussed how there could be up to 50,000 people in those buildings on any given day.  And then cried as the second plane struck,
with the realization that this was no accident.  And struck dumb as the towers fell.  The echo of the words "50,000 people" still ringing in my ears.

On the big screen.

I remember how the USA came together, and how most of the world mournedwith us in the days to come.  I also remember seeing pictures of some people rejoicing over what had happened, and not being able to comprehend that thought process.  I still don't.

I wrote this last year:"There was an instance in the movie [The Giver], when the boy is having "flashbacks" of all the things that had happened in the world "before", and one of those showed a picture of Tiananmen Square.  I wondered, in this theater filled with teenagers, how many of them got that reference.  Several of them said, "Ooooh", watching the guy standing in front of the tank, but I don't know if they actually understood what had happened, or the significance of it.  It reminded me of the day before, when the younger kids were still with us, and we had gone to Minnehaha Falls (more about that later).  As we headed towards home, and we were near the airport, I watched as one plane took off, and one plane was getting ready to land.  And they were actually nowhere near each other, but you could see that for a minute there, they were in the same flight path, and thoughts of 9/11 came rushing in.  It dawned on me, watching those planes, that the children we had in the car with us, not only had no idea what it was like to experience that day, they hadn't even been alive at that point.  It was a sobering reminder of how history can be forgotten, or how it becomes non-applicable (or so we think) to present day.  I'm sure it was like Pearl Harbor for a previous generation, and they had the same thoughts watching the next generations learn about it only through books and movies and not having any idea what it was really like."

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