`9.11 Me and Mom..Never Forget

11 Sep

There two events that have left a permanent image in my minds eye. The first was President Kennedy's assassination and the second was 9.11.

It was November of 63, I was 11 years old, in 5th grade at Kensington Elementary. I was distracted by the thought of an invitation to Leslie Steele's birthday party after school and just wanted the day to end. Our principal came in to our classroom and whispered into Miss Apfel's ear, her face turned white, she turned to the class and told us the the President was dead as she held back her tears. They asked us to rise and walk quietly to the front lawn of the school. We circled around the flag and recited the Lords Prayer as the flag was lowered to half mast.

I knew this was a tragedy, but at age 11 it was slightly beyond my emotional grasp. The birthday party was held despite the circumstances, I don't remember the details, but I do remember leaving to go home, evening had begun to fall. I entered the kitchen, the half light revealed the preparations for dinner which had halted mid stream. Something was very wrong. Soon the reason would be revealed. My mother was sitting in front of the television bathed in that blue light transfixed by Cronkite as the details of the event were told. She looked up at me,with tears streaming down her face, They killed Kennedy she said, he's dead. She pulled my close in a tight embrace, it was then that I realized the gravity of the event, It was the first time I saw my mother cry. Fade to black.

It was a beautiful September morning, blue skies and a cool breeze. I was on my way to Delaware to a job at a womens boutique. Normal as could be, the regular broadcast from WXPN was interupted as the DJ announced a airliner had just hit the World Trade Center, a horrible accident, I thought, How could that happen? soon I would find out the truth of the matter.

I arrived at the shop as my mind turned to how much product I would have to find room for, as it was the beginning of the Fall season. I entered to find the owner and employees glued to a small portable television, my mind flashed the image of my mom, something was really wrong. The second plane had struck, this was no accident. The remainder of the day was a blur. Trying to act like I really cared about the garments and their placement. The TV continued to spew the facts, the tower collapse,the Pentagon was hit, then a plane was down in Pennsylvania. The day dragged listening to all the theories from the shop girls, blah blah blah,as my moms face that night long ago occured to me again and again, all I wanted to do was go home. When I finally arrived home, in front of my TV, I thought of mom and cried. Nothing would ever be the same, my mother knew that and now so did I.

 

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