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January 16, 2009

A View of The Hudson River Plane Crash

Plane_crash I watched the lights flickering across the river, on the New Jersey side of the water.  Ambulances and police cars flashed red and white and blue.  A huge cargo ship was anchored in the water, its course through the Hudson River on hold.

Somewhere, about 20 blocks south of us, a plane was floating in the water.  People were standing on the wings, and getting into boats.  I couldn't see it from our window.  But on the computer, shielding the boys from the screen, I watched the afternoon unfold.

In retrospect, I think I just barely missed seeing the U.S. Airways plane, flight 1549, before it hit the water.  Sometime after 3:00 I head a loud, sustained, and somewhat odd noise. We live on the 24th floor of a building along the river.  We can see the water. From what I've now gathered on the news, the plane flew past our building.

But I ignored the sound.  We hear planes and helicopters and strange sounds all the time.  Sometimes, I look out the window to see what's happening.  But more often than not, I ignore the noise.  I've grown blase.  There's usually something much louder going on inside the apartment.

It didn't take long, however, for the phone calls to start.  My mom in Boston: "You live along the Hudson, right?" My husband, traveling on the West Coast: "Hi," silence. "What's going on?"  And then the email from a babysitter: "Please tell me the boys did not see that!"

The lights have dispersed now.  It's 7:45.  Miraculously, the passengers are safe.  The pilot, a hero.

And for some odd reason, the boys are asleep, earlier than usual.  I think I'll go kiss them again.

Original Post to New York Moms Blog. Andi Silverman is the author of "Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner's Guide to Breastfeeding" (Quirk Books 2007).  She also runs the blog Mama Knows Breast.

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