I was about a mile from the Pentagon, in another Defense Department Building*, and could see the smoke from the windows on our floor (a feature not found in most of the buildings in which I worked). I wanted to be home, and out of the middle of DC and had two choices: walk 14 miles through Rock Creek Park or take the Metro. I had no idea which target in DC was going to be next. Given the shoes I was wearing, I opted for the Metro. It was standing room only and silent as a tomb, with occasional sniffles or a gasping sob. Even though it was silent, there was an overwhelming tenderness in the smiles and glances between strangers. I’ll never forget that.

That was the day I began preferring text messages. I couldn’t get a phone call out to anyone, but I was able to get a text message out and let a family member know that I was all right and heading for home.

Home. Home in a world we all knew would never be the same.

*The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency was then on M St. It has since moved to Springfield VA.

Photo by Sam Corum Photography

About Sharon

Like anyone who lives long enough, I have experienced great loss and survived. I am convinced that my survival depends on my own participation in creating the reality I am living in, and I am determined to be a thoughtful and active participant/creator. These writings are my way of documenting that creation. As the song goes, "I will survive!" I chose the title Staying Vertical because I find that surviving isn't just staying on my feet physically. Keeping my thoughts and emotions on the vertical plane keeps me alive and moving forward. Thanks for joining me!
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2 Responses to 9/11/01

  1. Richard Smith says:

    Nice entry Sharon – the memories we carry from that terrible day will still be bright when most of our other thoughts are dim!

    • Sharon says:

      Thank you, Dick. And thank you for your friendship and leadership through all these years. It is having such strong people in my life that keeps me vertical!

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