The Sound Silence Makes
Today is a day I'll never forget. September 11, 2001. 9/11/01. Or now called: 9-1-1. The emergency number. Coincidence? Who knows. All anyone can imagine is the horror. The terror of it all. Terrorists are well named, you know. Especially kamikaze terrorists. The words in themselves sound harsh, cruel...cold. Just like the people they describe. The people who started it all; a tsunami of fear.
8:30am: All's well as we boarded the plane. No warning of anything horrific to come. It was a false sense of security, to be perfectly frank. Wish it could have stayed that way. Soon after the plane took off and we were at cruising altitude, everyone was comfortable. A few people got up to use the minute bathrooms, stretch their legs, the usual fidgeting that you get with airplane rides. Nobody thought anything of the person with their hat pulled low as they made their way up the aisle. Until they slipped behind the cockpit curtain. That was when it all fell spectacularly into alarm. Two more people jumped up and took what looked like knifes out of their coats and also went into the cockpit. All we could think of was, "Oh God, let it not be true...We're being hijacked."
Muffled sounds and thumps were emitted from behind the curtain, the troubled thoughts imagined the events to match the noise. An old lady screams as a suspicious, dark liquid seeps its way down the carpeted aisle at an agonizingly slow pace. Children look imploringly at tight-lipped parents as one of the terrorists appears in front of the curtain. "The plans have changes," they announced in a brusque voice, "If anyone so much as moves to go to the bathroom, they'll be killed while everyone watches." The stewards and stewardesses are stunned. The terrorist makes them sit in their take-off/landing seats. Holding their heads high, they are frightened but maintain a calm attitude; surely once we're back on the ground there will be negotiators and we'll be set free. One can only hope.
8:48am: Sitting in silence was unnerving, especially to have the hijacker stare venomously at you for a few moments. The air hummed with nervous tension and we felt the plane bank sharply. The people on a window seat were looking around, trying to identify where we might be headed. A huge collective gasp sounded amid shrieks from some: another jet had just smashed straight into a skyscraper, blasting it to shards of glass and a roar of flames. The terrorist at the front smirked. It wasn't very comforting. An elderly man started to hyperventilate from the stress. No moves were made to help him except from the lady who sat next to him. Nobody else was allowed to move...
9:00am: The plane banked sharply again. We were headed towards the burning tower and could only guess that we were headed towards the twin next to it, our fate spelled out clearly. "Prepare to die for justice! All of you are gonna be remembered in a good light," the terrorist yelled. The jet rumbled closer to the tower, the turbulence from the updrafts acute. "Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name..." a middle aged woman whispered. "Thy kingdom Come, Thine will be done..." "...On Earth as it is in Heaven..." More voices joined in, feebly at first, then stronger as we came closer to our destiny. "Give us this Day our daily Bread and forgive us our Trespasses, As we Forgive those who trespass against Us..." Everyone, regardless of religion, was praying and hands linked tightly together. We knew no differences as we held onto each other and our own faiths. An orange glow came over the cabin as we neared the buildings, the flames from the doomed jet lighting our path.
9:03am "Momma, what's going to happen...?" a little girl asks her trembling mother. "I don't know honey...I don't know," she answered, gripping her daughter tightly to her as quiet tears coursed down her cheeks, leaving golden trails in the fiery glow. A man quietly converses with his father on his cell phone, saying "Dad, we're going down...I love you...Tell Mom that I love her, we love both of you so much..." as his wife hugs their child tight. Many people were grasping each other's hands until they were white knuckled, eyes screwed shut. Blocking out reality and coming to grips with themselves and God while they had the chance. A gut-wrenching crash reverberated through our bodies, screams of absolute consternation ripped through the screech of metal and the shattering of glass. Heat and the smell of burning flesh was all that could be felt.
"And yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death, I shall Fear no Evil..."
I heard no more than the sound that Silence makes...
A/N: Dedicated, in loving memory, to all whose lives were taken in Today's Event in New York City. May they be remembered always. ~~`~~