I wound up ripping out my first entry, because it seemed so inconsequential in light of the next day's events.
Anyway, on September 11, 2001, this is what I wrote:
History happened today -- the plane crashes into the World Trade towers and the Pentagon.
Just heard an update -- hundreds might be dead in the Pentagon. I drove by earlier and saw it engulfed in fire and smoke. Everyone was all worried. Mom, my aunt, my siblings -- all worried and tried to reach me. But I was in court in Greenbelt this morning and barely heard anything. Just a peep before I left about a hijacked plane out of Boston. Then, when I got to court, heard about the NY attack. Never thought about the Pentagon, though, until I was getting evacuated from the courthouse.
I metro under there every day. I was even under there on my way home tonight. If I was late for work, I could have been there when it happened. Scary -- but the worst thing about it was hearing the fear in Mom's voice on the message she left. This had to be hardest on her -- being so far away and not being able to reach me.
My apartment smells like smoke. My throat and eyes are burning. I am less than ten blocks away from the Pentagon, and there still are sirens and flashing lights going back and forth.
On the news -- they're saying that this is one of the dates you'll remember forever -- like the millennium, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Tienemen Square -- which I remember. Others -- the assassination of Kennedy, the space landing, and Pearl Harbor -- clearly, I don't. But the images live on and are immediately recognizable.
Hopefully, all this will make sense one day.
What I didn't write about was how Judge Mannes wanted to get through his morning Chapter 13 docket before acquiescing to the evacuation, or how after being evacuated from the federal courthouse, I had to walk down to the Metro -- about a mile, in heels -- and then sat for a long time, while officials decided whether -- and if so where -- the trains were going to run. Initially, I couldn't even catch a train back in to Virginia. So, I spent the intervening time with work friends up in Cleveland Park, watching events unfold on tv.
For a long time after that, I was scared of getting stranded at that courthouse without a car, so when I had to go out there, I always drove. But about a year later I moved even closer to the Pentagon -- now I'm only about 5 blocks away. I still metro under there every day. Most importantly, though, I still haven't been able to make sense of any of it.