I was home on September 11, working on a project for my nursing research class project (BSN.) My husband and our oldest son came home from working, around 1500 and both looked grim. "I suppose you know what happened..." I didn't. I had been totally engrossed in my work. They turned on the television for my and I felt chilled, frightened and angry, all at the same time. It was like hearing that the country had been raped. Innocence lost.
My work called and alerted me that if a substantial number of casualties were located, the least hurt needing hospital care could be flown to the Air Force base near our home. The hospital I work in gets the overflow. I agreed to come in if and when they needed me before my next shift.
The sky was so quiet. I can't remember any other day when no airplanes were in the sky. It was such a crystal clear blue, and not a contrail in sight. So strange.
I called my mother, 300 miles away about 1700, when she would be home from work. She was worried because my father's delivery route took him to Somerset, PA that day and she hadn't heard from him. Just as we were talking on the phone, two loud BANGS rang out to the west of our home. They were so loud, she heard them over the phone and started asking if we were all right.
The boys turned on the news, and the first reports were that a plane had crashed near the VA center. My husband ran outside to see if he could see anything, and ran back in saying to me, "There's a plane overhead. Some F-16's are chasing it, and going fast. They should be far enough away from us, and they aren't heading towards the base."
It was was hours later that we learned that Air Force 1 and Mirror Image both had flown overhead and the F-16's were an escort. The noises we heard were sonic booms. I hadn't heard them since I was a kid.
In the past year, one of my sons has decided to joing the Air Force after high school graduation. Another is thinking about the reserves after college. My 10-year-old isn't happy about his brothers being away from him, but he has told each of them that he is proud that they want to help make the country free again, so his childhood can be as happy as theirs were.