Monday, September 11, 2006

It's OK to Be a Lemming

Five years ago on September 11th, I was working in downtown Los Angeles. I took the train from Orange County to Union Station. On the morning of 9/11, the train platform I left from was empty. Everyone was in the cafe watching television. I thought I overhead somebody say "plane crash." Lemmings - I thought. Sure, it's terrible to hear about a plane crash, but I'm not going to mash myself up against everyone to hear the news on television. The train arrived, and I was one of 4 people that boarded. Finally, I figured out that this was not an ordinary plane crash. On the train ride downtown, somebody listening to an FM tuner filled the few people riding the train in on the horrible details - planes were hijacked - World Trade Center - Pentagon - mass destruction.

I was the only one in the office that morning. Our building was located one block south of the Library Tower - the tallest building in downtown Los Angeles, and revealed earlier this year to be the (foiled) west coast target of 9/11.
I didn't know where else to go. My Mom was calling my cell phone and work phone in a panic. I was calling my boss, also panicked. The trains did not usually run south until the afternoon. That day they did, but my boss drove in anyway to pick me up. I sat plastered to the television for three days straight - literally. I could not imagine that what I was seeing was really happening. That my innocence - all our innocence - was lost.

I didn't know you, but I love you. I admire your courage and your strength. Your suffering was our suffering that fateful day. My heart felt heavy that morning though I did not know the reason why at first. You left a void in the world that cannot be filled. I will not forget you, this day, five years later, or ever.

It is better to be a lemming, than an ostrich with your head stuck in the sand...

1 comment:

Gina said...

Beautiful words. Thank goodness you were okay!!!