September 11, 2001
Confused and dazed, I was alone and attempting to navigate myself through a sea of dismembered bodies, covered in dust, on the streets of the city. My thoughts were of... where to begin? How to triage? There were so many. So overwhelming. Hard to breathe. Almost impossible to see for the dust. The high pitched squeal of what sounded like a thousand birds chirping was deafening despite the otherwise silence.
I woke up panic stricken, sitting bolt upright in bed, bathed in sweat and short of breath.
My husband and I were in a downtown Toronto hotel room that day, with plans on returning to Dallas on an afternoon flight scheduled out of Buffalo, New York.
After witnessing the jets crashing into the twin towers, a sense of urgency prevailed. Compelled to leave the city immediately and drive to the Detroit, Michigan border, I knew instinctively that crossing the New York border would be impossible.
Within minutes, firefighters were entering the World Trade Center. Carrying close to 100 lbs of gear on their backs, they began the arduous climb up to do their job.
This is where it became personal. My husband is a firefighter and I know he would never question the futility of this mission. This is what they train for and who they are.
It was my last real-time view of this tragedy.
No mention had been made of "Terrorism" yet. The Pentagon had not been hit and Flight 93 had not crashed. The Twin Towers were still standing.
As we were checking out of our hotel, the desk clerk informed us of the Pentagon strike.
We arrived at the Detroit border. The US/Canada border crossing was slow but still open. Shortly after we crossed into the US, no one was allowed to travel into or out of the US/Canada.
Radio accounts kept us informed throughout our trip home. We were spared the first hand televised news coverage and for that, I am grateful. We arrived home, safe and sound.
It wasn't until I turned on the TV and saw...
Was my dream on the night of 9/11/01 a premonition or a coincidence?
I asked my husband what the high-pitched sound was and he told me that it was the locator alarms that all firefighters wear.
The alarm sounds once you stop moving.