I remember how strangely silent everything was. The day before, the unthinkable had happened in New York and now the whole country was quiet.
I stood outside my home and listened. There was almost no background noise. Living as I do, in the landing pattern for Midway, and just south of the pattern for O'Hare, there is an almost constant under noise that you don't really notice until it's gone.
And it was gone. The sky was empty. The sky was silent.
We had no idea of the extent of the conspiracy then. We knew many had died - but not how many. We had all watched in horror as first one, and then the other, collapsed. There was that uncertainty - the hope that everyone had gotten out - that there had been enough time - that maybe it had happened early enough that the buildings were mostly empty. It became a certainty over time, but that day, we didn't know how many.
The rest of the world reacted in horror. And sympathy. For a while, but especially on that day, the day after, the whole world was on our side.
We had been publicly violated. Raped, in front of the whole world, and they understood.
It was the day after. There was so much we didn't know.
Yesterday was a day of remembrance. Yesterday the names were recounted and more tears were shed.
Today? Today I remember the silence.
And to all of those who died .... Ndinombethe.