Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Marking one year.
So close am I that any time I pass the long gates, I stop and think about the changes, the people and everything that comes with it. I now support people that were there. Just this morning I listened as they revisited the day. For my part, I remained silent as what I went through that day was nothing compared to the horrors within the walls.
But I remember. And yes I have my own stories. The moment that the announcement came that my bosses were over there, that we were to hold in place, be prepared. Step away from windows and doors. As we went into lock down for who knew how long that point. I will never forget the police officer looking and point blank stating
If we left, there was nothing they could do to save us. We were on our own. Good luck.
And yet they pulled me to help make coffee for people who sought shelter. While the gunman was still lose (and no one knew where at that point) I watched as on the streets and inside the Navy Yard, media, emergency crews and law enforcement flooded in.
And people, yes victims got out.
Still all I could do was make coffee. And wait. Because that was all we could do. I hid it well, the fear. The thought that bosses and coworkers who I had just seen the previous afternoon where unaccounted for. And the relief when one by one they showed up, called back in. Etc.
All was not happy news, we lost a couple of subcontractors that morning. And a couple of people we did work for. We knew them. This was not unnoticed. It still does not go unnoticed.
I waited that day, in the still eerie office, attempting to get work done, but it was clear nothing would get done from anyone that day. Instead we just sat there, glued to the news that we didn't have to watch to know we were living it. It is a strange thing looking at your local new station and yet glancing out the window to see the very same live shot. To know you are the news.
And the joy when a manager said they told him if he was ready to go within the next 15 minutes that they were allowing the gate to open for a brief moment as they needed the parking lot, asked if I needed a lift out of here.
That computer had never been shut down faster.
Leaving, we passed the end of the Navy Yard, four coworkers all in silence. Thankful for the ordeal to be done.
No, it is a day I would rather forget, but know I never will. And today, as we mark the one year anniversary of it, I know my heart sits heavy with the victims and the families that miss them. May they know they are not forgotten.