The Least Informed People in the Mid-Atlantic

Since 13 years ago today, every time I hear a “test” of the Emergency Broadcast System, I wonder what in the wide wide world of sports that thing is even FOR.

Every bit of information I digested that morning was from CNN and the Internet, and 94 percent of it was wrong. The Mall was not on fire. There were no car bombs. The entirety of the District was not under siege. But I never even heard that wretched EBS indicator sound once on that day, and the Emergency Broadcast Service helped neither inform nor misinform me.

It could have been worse. I could have been riding in that white pick-up, one of the two least informed people in the Mid-Atlantic.

I don’t want to say that they were the least informed people in the world. I mean, there may have been some Tibetan monks or something somewhere who weren’t aware of what was happening, either.

But certainly, the two in the white pick-up truck who drove up alongside me, my co-worker, and probably thousands of our new friends as we exited Washington D.C. on foot over the Roosevelt Bridge and asked why everyone was performing this exodus, yes, friends, I would say at the time, they were the least informed two people in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

We pointed at the billowing smoke, the result of the attack on the Pentagon. We filled them in. It was strange having to get anyone else caught up to speed about something that, to me, had become rather obvious and overwhelming.

To get to one of the area’s Target stores, you drive right by the Pentagon, you know. I mean, it’s set back fairly far from the highway of course, but you are aware when you drive that way of its presence. It’s how you get to Old Town, too. I always hoped as I was driving by that nothing hit the fan while I was on that road. Because I was certain that the Pentagon had to have been the most heavily defended building in the world, and certainly, if it were attacked, and if you were driving on the Jeff when it happened, well…you’d see the rockets’ red glare.

How false this assumption was; that was one of the most surprising things to me.

That’s all I have regarding the day, I reckon.


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