September 11: Two Years On
Within 5 minutes of their arrival, I got into the car with my sister in law. Her first instinct? We have to go give blood. We drove down the main drag of town, and eventhough only a few hours seperated us from the moment the first plane struck, it seemed that the entire town of Hamden Connecticut had put their own DR plan into action. Moms with babies in strollers were handing out 1-page instruction sheets they had just got printed from Kinkos to people through their car windows. Seniors were directing motorists to emergency stations that had been set up for people to donate blood, clothing, food, or money. The town had rallied together and vividly demonstrated the depth of the human spirit.
I suppose we were all so focussed on how to best contribute to that moment, that we still were unable to grasp the magnitude of what had happened just south of where we were. Reality began sinking in by the dinner hour, when local hospitals (who earlier in the day had cleared their emergency rooms in anticipation of an overflow of patients from Manhattan) quietly resumed their normal operations. There would be no patients coming in from New York.
We remember a terrible day, 9.11, but our sense of resilience and our collective need for continuity allows us to forge ahead.