The Six A.M. Phone Call
By Rick Kurtis
Scary things happened every day, but when it happened in our own backyard, it became traumatic. It was a normal day in 2001, as any other day. We were fast asleep in our bed waiting for the morning of a new day. Suddenly the phone rang before 6 AM in the morning. Half awake, we sat there and listened to the answering machine wondering who or why. It was my wife’s cousin, Richie, so frantic that it was hard to understand what he was saying. After some composure, he yelled again, “Laurii, a plane just crashed into the Twin Towers.”
At first we thought it was just like a misguided plane, like the one that hit the Empire State building on July 28, 1945, knowing that the weather in New York was usually cloudy or overcast, foggy or gloomy. Laurii jumped out of bed and ran to the phone, while Richie was being pummeled by books and debris during his escape from devastation...
We turned on our fifty-two inch TV, waiting for the news coverage, now knowing that it wasn’t a plane but a full size jet airliner, finding out later that it carried seventy-six passengers and eleven crew members. The news came on the screen with the reporter perched on a hill looking over the city of New York. It was a beautiful rare, clear blue day, with the towers front and center on the screen. The north tower was on fire with black smoke billowing up into the air. Laurii collapsed on the couch while we watched people jumping to their death to escape the flames.
We gasped while we watched on national television a second jetliner flew in low and slammed into the second tower at 9:03 AM. Then the news was breaking away to other crashes. We now knew that America was under attack with a third plane crashing into the Pentagon at 9:37 AM. This hasn’t happened on US soil since December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Nineteen Islamic terrorist of Al Qaeda commandeered four planes for mass destruction. 2996 people died that day, whether by terrorism, conspiracy of friendly fire, or selfless heroes on flight ninety-three where thirty-three passengers and seven crew members overtook four hijackers but still crashed into the ground in Pennsylvania. This plane was said to be headed to our Nation’s Capital.
I was outraged and wanted to do nothing more than blow their country off the face of the earth. I was forty-four years old, too old for the military, with no political knowledge. I had no wealthy great income that could support or pay for a military strike, if I couldn’t go myself. Three days later on the news, there was an uprising with the Muslim groups, which true Americans couldn’t understand. I thought that no one in this country had any control.
I cried with George W. Bush when he gave his speech to the firemen and police. When he gave his State of the Union address on September 20th, I was behind our president 110 percent.
Watching the news, it opened my eyes to the greed of not only corporate America but of some of the American people. Solid Americans gave their hard earned money for support to the families and victims and the Red Cross wanted to save the money for future disasters or from the small business owners out in rural America that jacked up their gas prices to seven dollars and ten dollars a gallon.
800 words is not enough to describe my disdain of the American people that would block out this disaster and cheat their fellow Americans. Our country was divided. 3000 had died that day but how many more have died since, from the dust and ash. They have said that there were over 18,000 people affected by the toxic dust, whether ingested or inhaled.
To this day, it still makes my heart pound thinking that this was only the beginning. Laurii, being from New York was upset for months but thanking God that her cousin Richie was late for work that day. In order to help her to cope, I made our own Twin Towers for our own backyard. Sixteen foot to scale with interior lights that light through the office windows of the workers. These towers still remain today. If you drive down Gowan and Simmons, day or night, you can’t miss them peeking over the wall. I want no one to forget the senseless violence of that day.
People from the beginning of time have always had a problem with other people. They have fought, enslaved or mass murdered for no reason other than their own personal satisfaction of stupidity. I don’t believe it will ever change and life will continue on until it ceases to exist.