It all feels too eerily familiar, in a really bad way.
Eleven and a half years ago, Bryan and I were in Italy enjoying our honeymoon. We had spent a fabulous 10 days traveling through Rome, Florence, and Venice. On September 11, 2001, our plane took off from Venice, making a stopover at Brussels before heading back home to Boston.
About an hour into our second leg, a voice came on the intercom.
"There have been terrorist attacks in the US. The US is not accepting anymore planes. We are turning around and going back to Brussels."
What followed was hours of confusion as people on the plane tried to figure out what was going on. I remember landing in Brussels, scared and confused. In the bus ride to our hotel, we strained to make out the news on the bus radio, which was (annoyingly) overdubbed in French. It wasn't until we arrived in our hotel room that we saw the horrific pictures of the fallen WTC towers.
I remember calling my family, telling them I was OK, though I didn't know when I would make it home.
I remember feeling fear, terrorized by the thought that another bomb or plane crash could occur.
I remember feeling terribly, terribly sad, aghast, and disgusted by all the events.
And I remember feeling so, so far away from home. Far away from all my friends and family.
Monday, April 15th, 2013.
I was flying, again, to Europe. This time to London.
Imagine my surprise when we got off the plane and Bryan read on his phone about some "explosions at Copley."
It didn't sink in quite at that moment the seriousness of it all. It wasn't until later, when we got off the train at Paddington Station, that I started to realize what had really happened.
I'm really, really mourning for my beloved Boston. My heart especially goes out to those who have suffered needlessly as a result of this heartless act. The Marathon is supposed to be a happy, hopeful day - a day where we celebrate the hard work of so many runners, the generous hearts of those running for charities, and the countless people running in honor of others. It seems especially cruel to target this bunch.
I continue to pray for this city, especially those that were injured or in any way affected by this horrible tragedy. I feel far away, watching this all from a distance. I am reminded that people in other less stable countries deal with this type of horror much more often.
I have been amazed at the outpouring of love this city has shown. Imagine, thousands of people offering their homes to stranded strangers. And what about all those emergency workers rushing in to help when there easily could have been more live bombs?
Thank you all who reached out to me, asking me if I was OK. I was really touched by that. Thank you so much.
I know this city is resilient. It will be hard - and we surely will never forget this day - but we will bounce back.
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[…] had a great Independence Day! I originally wrote this post on April 23, 2013 following the Boston Marathon bombings. It was in honor of my beloved city, which was going through so much grief at the time. I felt […]