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