Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jerusalem Terror Attack 3/23/11

Someone comes in my office and asks for a piece of chocolate from my co-worker. “There was an attack in Jerusalem you know?” She asks rather calmly. I don’t hear her and ask her to repeat what she said. I immediately reach for my phone to call my sister... the lines are jammed. I open a tab in my browser and log onto the site is working slow but has a report that there has been an attack in Jerusalem. I try my sister again. My cell phone and my work phone. Its all messed up. I try Jpost and see that there was an explosion near the 74 bus by the Jerusalem Convention Center. At least 20 people were injured and ambulances are rushing to the scene as police are looking to ensure that no other explosive devices are around. I try Rachel again. My phone rings from a 212 area code. I pick up and it’s my friend Mike calling to make sure I am alright. I tell him I’m okay and that I need to go call my sister. I try her husband who tells me he is leaving school an hour away from Jerusalem and that he got a text from Rachel that she is okay… the phones are still jammed. I keep trying and eventually get through. Rachel’s office is so near the attack that she heard it from her office. She is thank G-d okay. I call my cousin Anat… no answer. I text her, no response. I call my parents and tell them my sister, brother and I are fine – then tell them that there was an attack in Jerusalem. I call Anat again. No answer. I look to the news sites and think to myself “what if I know one of the 25+ people that are hurt.” It dawns on me that without a doubt I do. Maybe not directly, but in a country and city where everyone knows everyone, I am sure to hear in the coming days that a friend’s cousin or cousin’s friend was hurt in the attack. My stomach tightens a bit. I get a hold of Anat. She is a social worker at Hadassah Hospital. The countries social workers are currently on strike, but not now – she is at the hospital working with victims and families.
This is chilling – I am getting and sending texts and emails to friends making sure everyone is okay, all the while knowing some people are not. It is also chilling knowing that just last night I was at the convention center picking up my race number for the Jerusalem Half Marathon that I am running this Friday. The news now says an explosive device was set off next to a phone booth in front of the convention center. I can’t keep writing like this, but thought it would be apt to take down my initial thoughts of this tragedy which is really hitting me close to home. My prayers are with the wounded and their families.

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