It is 8:30 am. Six years ago, in about 15 minutes, lives changed, lives ended, the world became a different place.
It's the end of my second "season" with Club Med and it's been a trying time. While still adjusting to the CM lifestyle, I had a nasty breakup with my boyfriend of about a year who happened to also be my roommate. Can you say uncomforatble? The village is all closed up for the fall break, all the guests have gone home. The only people here are we GOs. We've been hanging out for the last week, cleaning and just letting loose after an interesting season. Last night, we watched Armageddon.
Today, I'm going home to Pennsylvania to hang out with my brother for a few weeks before I go to my next village, Punta Cana, to teach rollerblading. I put my luggage out for the guys to pick up and I start to head up to the reception area to catch my taxi to the airport. As I went through the theatre area and to the bar, I looked up at the television to see a building on fire. I stopped for a moment, wondering what movie was on this early in the morning. It took a long time for the reality of what was happening to hit me. I dropped my bag and just stood there in front of the television. Paralyzed. Wondering how in the world could this happen. Wondering, more importantly, are my friends in New York okay.
The moments passed and more people began to gather around the television sets. We saw the second plane hit. It felt like someone was dropping bombs inside my head. We watched as the reports came in that yet another plane had gone down, this one in Pennsylvania. I scrambled for more details on that plane. It went down about an hour's drive from our house.
Somehow, the trance of the events was broken and I realized that I needed to call my mother. All she knew was that I was flying to PA today. She didn't know when I was flying or even where I was at the moment. I had to dig through all of my stuff to find my calling card, only to run out to the phone to find that all circuits were busy. I tried and tried and tried, but I couldn't get through. I knew that I had to talk to my mom, and soon, to let her know that I was okay. Not mentally, but physically, I was okay.
I went back to the gathering of GOs still watching television to find out that the borders had been closed. No air traffic. Nothing. There we were, some Mexicans, some Canadians, and a lot of Americans, shut out of the US with little to no communication with our family and friends. A slight panic spread through the village as the word got around of what had happened and the repercussions of it all. I went back out to the phone and somehow, luckily, I was able to get through to my mom. She was relieved to know that I was okay to say the least.
There we were, about 100 employees, stranded in a village with very little, if any food remaining as most people were to leave today, with just each other for comfort. Praying for those who had lost their lives and for their families and friends. It was another week before we were allowed to fly. It was another year before I found out that an acquaintance, Perry, had lost his life in the attacks. It's been another six years and I still remember it like it happened yesterday.
Today, I give thanks to the men and women who serve and protect our country. I pray for the families and friends of the victims. I hope against hope for a time when there might be some semblence of "normalcy" in the world again. Mainly, I just remember.