The Week's Events

Thoughts on the past week’s events.

Tuesday morning I drove out to King of Prussia; it’s the largest shopping mall on the east coast (so they claim, anyway). Electronics Boutique has a store there, the second largest store in sales volume in the entire company, and we’re opening a second store in the mall. A truck arrived with stock around eight o’clock, and by eight-thirty we had the truck unloaded. A little past nine, someone’s cell phone rang, and then we got the news–a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Later, another phone call, another crash. Smoke rising from the Pentagon. The Towers fell. We didn’t have televisions handy. Instead, we crowded around the few cell phones, eager for information.

It wasn’t until I got home that I saw what had happened. King of Prussia closed at two, and they threw us out. Driving home there was nothing on the radio but news–frantic reports, news conferences, a direct feed from MSNBC, an anchor refering to images on a screen that didn’t come across on the radio. It wasn’t until three-thirty that I could actually see what had happened, and like millions of others, I sat down and just watched.

A strange sense of unreality settled in. I was watching CBS, and Dan Rather would cut back and forth from tape of the morning’s events to a shot of the smoke billowing from downtown Manhattan. Strange thoughts developed. I found myself asking, “Why didn’t Superman catch that plane?” at one point. I knew then that I couldn’t watch anymore.

It’s interesting watching people since. Some move in a daze. Some wear their patriotism on their sleeves. People aren’t quite here.

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