Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Ago But A Few Hours Earlier

The Loop had been evacuated. I recall the compression of time because Flight 93 was still in the air when I walked towards the train and yet both towers of the World Trade Center were gone during my trek four blocks south. The Orange Line elevated train winds southwest to Midway Airport, and if I was at all baffled by the enormity of that day--having no cell phone, lap top, or radio headphones--I climbed the steps towards the area where the buses pull in and found an equal amount of people streaming down from the escalators leading towards the long maze of hallways that cross through the parking garage to the inside of the airport. I had never heard so much confusion from two different directions. My bus to 87th was standing room alone and filled with people from England and Oregon and yes, NYC, all of whom disembarked near the string of motels at Marquette Road. At this same time, amidst all the chattering of voices and people conveying pieces of news they knew or had heard or had overheard, all planes were being grounded. I could get only one good photo because of the crowds bumping past me. But I will always remember plane after plane after plane lined up past the White Castle's and Continental Foods to land, little more than two to three minutes apart. The sounds of the engines over Cicero Avenue was like a monstrous turbine fan amplified to the highest level. Walking to my house, I saw three guys working with jackhammers on LaPorte, thinking, man, I bet these guys don't even have a clue. Wayne


Blogger Maines said...


Monday, September 11, 2006 7:23:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

My experience on the UIC campus and taking the CTA home was one of utter silence. People muttered into their cell phones but basically just quietly headed to where they need to go (home I'm assuming)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 2:37:00 PM  
Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

I had not listened to the news before getting to work that day. I remember coming in to the office to see my secretary raptly watching the TV, and then when I saw what was on I simply couldn't accept it for a few minutes. Sometimes it still doesn't seem real.

Thursday, September 14, 2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger David Niall Wilson said...

I was working for the USCG at the time...they had it up on computer screens all around the building....dead silence as it sank in; a lot of folks there had close friends in danger.


Friday, September 15, 2006 9:59:00 PM  
Blogger Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

I was shepherding a room full of 12 year olds and had turned on the television just before the second plane hit. When they saw the first building collapse, I told them, "Oh, I'm sure they got everybody out in time..."

Monday, September 18, 2006 5:15:00 PM  

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