topic
Reflections on 9/11

Introduced: September 17 2011

As we mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it is a time for remembering that day and all that followed. You’re invited to share a memory of where you were that day – or your thoughts about it since then.

 

Note from IWD: On the clear, crisp day that was September 11, 2001, I dropped my car at the local service station and then began the 10-block walk home with my dog. For the first time ever (and, in fact, the only time because I’ve never done it since…), I had brought along a Walkman CD player, intending to listen to a CD of a Deepak Chopra book. I turned it on and hadn’t yet inserted the CD when the radio announcer said that a small plane had hit a skyscraper in New York. I turned around and hurried the block-and-a-half back to the service station that had a TV in its lobby. There, surrounded by a small cluster of people I didn’t know, I saw the second plane hit the second tower.

 

Do you remember the overwhelming feeling of not knowing what would happen next? There were still planes in the air…would other targets be hit? (And, of course, two more were.) Was this the beginning of something huge? (And, of course, it was.)

 

My oldest son worked in Chicago’s AT&T building across the street from the Sears Tower.  He’d been evacuated and called me from his car driving north to Wrigleyville where he lived. My middle son was living on Cape Cod, not far from where the jets were scrambled at Otis Air Force Base. A month later, he moved back to Chicago because we felt, after 9/11, he was just “too far away.”

 

Small consequences, compared to what others experienced, but everybody’s world changed in some way.

Dialogue on Reflections on 9/11
069:

On 9-11 I was at our local Middle School getting ready for a day of teaching. During my prep period 1st hr, my principal came to my door & asked if I was connected to the Internet. I was. He said that someone heard on the radio that a small plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. My husband is an airline pilot. My principal & I joked about a "pilot error" of this magnitude to fly into a Twin Tower. He asked me get on CNBC to check out the story. (The Internet was so busy I had one of only computers in our school connected to the Internet.)

 

As we looked at the screen the reports were confusing. Gradually we realized the awful truth, one of the Twin Towers had been hit by a big airliner. My husband, a pilot for American Airlines, was on a trip. I had no idea where he was at that moment. After living with his ever changing schedule for 30 years of flying I didn't even attempt to keep track. Suddenly I wanted to know exactly where he was. I punched his cell phone number into my cell phone. He answered. Unlike so many others that day, my call was answered. I feel so fortunate.

 

Note from IWD: In a statement, Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said the commemoration ceremony is for the victims' families. "While we are again focused on accommodating victims' family members, given the space constraints, we're working to find ways to recognize and honor first responders, and other groups, at different places and times," Brent said.

091:

My husband and I were standing in the front yard of our house which was under construction. We had Hispanics, Poles and who knows what others working on the house and they all had their radios on in different languages. They started acting agitated and looking around until the foreman finally came over to tell us what had happened. We rushed back to our temporary condo to watch with shock the replays. Never forget, even if the governmental powers don't invite clergy or firemen to the 10th anniversary service. And make sure our kids and grandkids remember.

 

Watching the two parties parade their obstinancy regarding the debt ceiling crisis reminds me of two people getting divorced and being willing to damage the kids just so they can get back at one another.

071:

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I am filled with sadness once again and apprehension. I was cleaning up the kitchen after my husband had left for the office (we lived in a highrise building in Chicago on the top level). All of a sudden a Breaking News Announcement came on the TV. I watched everything in amazement. I saw the second plane hit and explode. I will never forget it. I was frozen in font of the TV, filled with terror, dread and sadness. Forget work that day, I could not function. I called my son, husband and son-in-law to tell them to get out of the high rises they worked in and get home. Our son-in-law's building had already been evacuated. He worked less than a block from the Sear's Tower.

 

I never would have ever believed that anyone could possibly do such a heinous deed in the name of "God". My heart still breaks for all those people and their families. I will NEVER forget.

051:

As I read your 'memories of the day', my stomach turned into that now-too-familiar knot as I relived your moments. I vividly remember the morning; bright, crisp, beautiful fall crystal blue sky... the kind of day where nothing could ever go wrong. I had a play list of fav music going as I set my dining room table for a dinner party I was having mid-week. The tablecloth was on, the china & silverware set and finishing touches with flowers as I was perusing my shopping list. The phone rang, it was my husband, and he hastily told me to drop what I was doing and put on CNN. Being the obedient wife (chuckle, chuckle) I DID due to the seriousness and panic in his voice. I tuned in just as the second plane was hitting, thinking that it was a replay of an earlier event but then discovering it was live. I felt like it was the beginning of the end.

 

I began to pray and was glued to the set for quite awhile awaiting further news. My mind raced and I thought first of my children; two older children away at college and two younger sons in local schools. Figuring the older ones in MN and IN were in pretty safe spots, I almost panicked and ran to the schools to gather the younger two but my next thought was of my sister working out at O'Hare. I tried calling to no avail. She works as a Tour Director checking in people for their flights. When I couldn't reach her I called American Airlines as they had charters together. I talked with a friend of my sister’s who informed me that she believed my sister to be sealed in a flight that was grounded. Then she started getting hysterical saying " OMGOMG they are attacking the Sears Tower!" I asked her what was going on and she was reading off their ticker tape. The update was that there was a car bomb that went off at the Sears Tower. Of course, we later found out that this was erroneous information of which there was a lot going around.

 

I much later got a call from my little sis informing me that she was indeed on a lock-down on her flight. After a couple hours, her and her passengers were disembarked from the plane and put in a 'holding tank' with the FBI and later allowed to leave.

 

In the meantime, I headed right to church, which, no surprise to me, was filled. The whole day is embedded in my mind as I know it is for all who have lived through it. After watching numerous memorial programs, I still marvel at the strength and courage of the people of New York and the incredible heroes that met their end that day.

048:

In the early morning of Sept. 11, 2001 I was on my way to Rockford, IL for a business meeting and I stopped at the only place I could find for breakfast, a truck stop along Interstate 39. As I sat down at the counter with truck drivers and other travelers I looked up at the TV and saw the first World Trade Center with smoke billowing out of the side of building. People around me were commenting that they thought a small plane had hit the building, I immediately thought that that was not the case. Small planes don't just run into buildings in the crowded sky line of the lower east side of Manhattan. My thoughts turned to either a despondent person who was committing suicide or it was a terrorist. As I sat at the counter and watched the second plane hit the other tower there was no question in my mind that it was a terrorist attack. I left the restaurant and started calling family members to make sure everyone was safe and was aware of what had happened, especially our oldest son who spent time in and out of NewYork... all were safe in Chicago. Later as I arrived at my meeting near the Rockford airport; one commercial plane (United, American etc.) after another was landing at the normally quiet airport... I assumed that commercial planes were being grounded, another sign that the events of the morning were very serious. As I rode back to Chicago that afternoon speaking on the phone with family and colleagues the sad reality sunk in that life as we knew it would never be the same.

030:

"Dear, is (your husband) in New York City today?"

- It was my Mom calling before the 'accepted' time to find me fully awake.

'Yes, Why?'

'Because there has been a plane accident.'

'No problem- he is at his NY office, not flying.'

'Well, dear, the accident was a plane crashing into an office building, so you might want to turn on your tv. I am sorry to wake you...but I thought you should know'...

 

The rapid slide into horror followed... second plane... attack not accident... flames smoke... possible rescue... turn the cameras away please from the alternative... running... watching... how will they stop the fire... and then - there it goes... panic... chaos... what next... and then next happened... the pentagon... and the remaining plane... 'lets roll'...

Where is my husband... where are all my New York friends... and what is next?

Suspended in time hours before I learned - My husband was walking 30 blocks to our upper East side apt on the 35 floor of building overlooking the city. My friends were also safe but unreachable. Everyone was expecting another 'hit'.

 

It was five days before I was able to send a driver across country to get him out of the city (no cars to rent or buy). Our car was flying flags. Later that car had the bumper sticker - 'Never Forget'.

 

Never forget Daniel Rodriquez singing God Bless America at the World Series in Yankee stadium, as the eagle, Challenger, soared in and circled the stadium and Pres. Bush walking to the mound to throw the first pitch.

 

They had not canceled life in America. God Bless America was sung from sea to shining sea.

 

Our trip around the world was booked to begin on Sept. 21. It has never been rescheduled. But I did fly into New York on Dec.1. I had to or I could not begin to breathe normally. I had to go to ground zero... I was part of the solemn, silent pilgrimage that rounded a corner and saw the skeleton remains of the North Tower. I sat with strangers on a curbs opposite what I called "the Teddy Bear Wall" - an endless fences and walls filled with 'missing' photos and stuffed animals representing the love for those 'missing'.

 

We sat because it was impossible to walk with such grief. Intense mourning for each unknown face, name, and unclaimed teddy bears. Months passed and we were flying for the second time - this time into JFK. It was dusk -I looked out the window at Lower Manhattan and suddenly two blue beacons shot up into the sky. The first time they were turned on. Everyone on the plane cried.

052:

Tonight I watched a documentary on CBS that was filmed on 9/11/01 by two French filmmakers who had just happened to be filming the story of a young firefighter over that summer and early fall. Apparently this was the first time this actual footage has been shown on tv. It brought back so many memories of that day, but most of all it reminded me what caused this horrific event. Extremism, hate, absolutism, anger. When these conditions exist in a society and nothing is done to stop it, things like 9/11 can happen. While I don't believe the intention of the current extremism in our country is to bring down buildings and kill innocent people it can lead to nothing good. For our country to survive this economic crisis and move toward a better future all parties must come to the table and compromise. The Tea Party is showing extremism, absolutism and anger. They show disrespect for the offices of our government that serve us and protect us. This hurts our country. We should all be aware of the danger in just accepting this behavior instead of doing something to stop it. I would encourage all of us to speak out against this behavior and those that support it and promote it. Hate, anger and lies will not improve our country. Why can't we work together like we did on 9/12/01?

161:

I saw an excellent documentary on September 11 about the firefighter whose job it was to run up the stairs carrying 60 pounds of equipment to try to save people trapped on the floors above. Many of those who survived have experienced serious health problems, especially respiratory problems. Not just the firefighters, but police officers and also those who helped dig through the rubble. I hope our country is taking care of them.

203:

In the days following the recent 10th anniversary of 9/11, there was another news item about a young motorcyclist in Utah who had been hit by a car and ended up trapped beneath the car, while his motorcycle burst into flames. Bystanders and several men from a construction job ran over to lift the 2-ton car and drag the young man to safety. I wondered if the 9/11 state of mind – and the recognition given to brave heroes on that day – encouraged these men in some subliminal way to rush toward danger. I do notice in my brothers, my cousins, and other young men a desire to be heroic and brave in some way that helps the world.

069:

On 9-11 I was at our local Middle School getting ready for a day of teaching. During my prep period 1st hr, my principal came to my door & asked if I was connected to the Internet. I was. He said that someone heard on the radio that a small plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. My husband is an airline pilot. My principal & I joked about a "pilot error" of this magnitude to fly into a Twin Tower. He asked me get on CNBC to check out the story. (The Internet was so busy I had one of only computers in our school connected to the Internet.)

 

As we looked at the screen the reports were confusing. Gradually we realized the awful truth, one of the Twin Towers had been hit by a big airliner. My husband, a pilot for American Airlines, was on a trip. I had no idea where he was at that moment. After living with his ever changing schedule for 30 years of flying I didn't even attempt to keep track. Suddenly I wanted to know exactly where he was. I punched his cell phone number into my cell phone. He answered. Unlike so many others that day, my call was answered. I feel so fortunate.

 

Note from IWD: In a statement, Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said the commemoration ceremony is for the victims' families. "While we are again focused on accommodating victims' family members, given the space constraints, we're working to find ways to recognize and honor first responders, and other groups, at different places and times," Brent said.

091:

My husband and I were standing in the front yard of our house which was under construction. We had Hispanics, Poles and who knows what others working on the house and they all had their radios on in different languages. They started acting agitated and looking around until the foreman finally came over to tell us what had happened. We rushed back to our temporary condo to watch with shock the replays. Never forget, even if the governmental powers don't invite clergy or firemen to the 10th anniversary service. And make sure our kids and grandkids remember.

 

Watching the two parties parade their obstinancy regarding the debt ceiling crisis reminds me of two people getting divorced and being willing to damage the kids just so they can get back at one another.

071:

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I am filled with sadness once again and apprehension. I was cleaning up the kitchen after my husband had left for the office (we lived in a highrise building in Chicago on the top level). All of a sudden a Breaking News Announcement came on the TV. I watched everything in amazement. I saw the second plane hit and explode. I will never forget it. I was frozen in font of the TV, filled with terror, dread and sadness. Forget work that day, I could not function. I called my son, husband and son-in-law to tell them to get out of the high rises they worked in and get home. Our son-in-law's building had already been evacuated. He worked less than a block from the Sear's Tower.

 

I never would have ever believed that anyone could possibly do such a heinous deed in the name of "God". My heart still breaks for all those people and their families. I will NEVER forget.

051:

As I read your 'memories of the day', my stomach turned into that now-too-familiar knot as I relived your moments. I vividly remember the morning; bright, crisp, beautiful fall crystal blue sky... the kind of day where nothing could ever go wrong. I had a play list of fav music going as I set my dining room table for a dinner party I was having mid-week. The tablecloth was on, the china & silverware set and finishing touches with flowers as I was perusing my shopping list. The phone rang, it was my husband, and he hastily told me to drop what I was doing and put on CNN. Being the obedient wife (chuckle, chuckle) I DID due to the seriousness and panic in his voice. I tuned in just as the second plane was hitting, thinking that it was a replay of an earlier event but then discovering it was live. I felt like it was the beginning of the end.

 

I began to pray and was glued to the set for quite awhile awaiting further news. My mind raced and I thought first of my children; two older children away at college and two younger sons in local schools. Figuring the older ones in MN and IN were in pretty safe spots, I almost panicked and ran to the schools to gather the younger two but my next thought was of my sister working out at O'Hare. I tried calling to no avail. She works as a Tour Director checking in people for their flights. When I couldn't reach her I called American Airlines as they had charters together. I talked with a friend of my sister’s who informed me that she believed my sister to be sealed in a flight that was grounded. Then she started getting hysterical saying " OMGOMG they are attacking the Sears Tower!" I asked her what was going on and she was reading off their ticker tape. The update was that there was a car bomb that went off at the Sears Tower. Of course, we later found out that this was erroneous information of which there was a lot going around.

 

I much later got a call from my little sis informing me that she was indeed on a lock-down on her flight. After a couple hours, her and her passengers were disembarked from the plane and put in a 'holding tank' with the FBI and later allowed to leave.

 

In the meantime, I headed right to church, which, no surprise to me, was filled. The whole day is embedded in my mind as I know it is for all who have lived through it. After watching numerous memorial programs, I still marvel at the strength and courage of the people of New York and the incredible heroes that met their end that day.

048:

In the early morning of Sept. 11, 2001 I was on my way to Rockford, IL for a business meeting and I stopped at the only place I could find for breakfast, a truck stop along Interstate 39. As I sat down at the counter with truck drivers and other travelers I looked up at the TV and saw the first World Trade Center with smoke billowing out of the side of building. People around me were commenting that they thought a small plane had hit the building, I immediately thought that that was not the case. Small planes don't just run into buildings in the crowded sky line of the lower east side of Manhattan. My thoughts turned to either a despondent person who was committing suicide or it was a terrorist. As I sat at the counter and watched the second plane hit the other tower there was no question in my mind that it was a terrorist attack. I left the restaurant and started calling family members to make sure everyone was safe and was aware of what had happened, especially our oldest son who spent time in and out of NewYork... all were safe in Chicago. Later as I arrived at my meeting near the Rockford airport; one commercial plane (United, American etc.) after another was landing at the normally quiet airport... I assumed that commercial planes were being grounded, another sign that the events of the morning were very serious. As I rode back to Chicago that afternoon speaking on the phone with family and colleagues the sad reality sunk in that life as we knew it would never be the same.

030:

"Dear, is (your husband) in New York City today?"

- It was my Mom calling before the 'accepted' time to find me fully awake.

'Yes, Why?'

'Because there has been a plane accident.'

'No problem- he is at his NY office, not flying.'

'Well, dear, the accident was a plane crashing into an office building, so you might want to turn on your tv. I am sorry to wake you...but I thought you should know'...

 

The rapid slide into horror followed... second plane... attack not accident... flames smoke... possible rescue... turn the cameras away please from the alternative... running... watching... how will they stop the fire... and then - there it goes... panic... chaos... what next... and then next happened... the pentagon... and the remaining plane... 'lets roll'...

Where is my husband... where are all my New York friends... and what is next?

Suspended in time hours before I learned - My husband was walking 30 blocks to our upper East side apt on the 35 floor of building overlooking the city. My friends were also safe but unreachable. Everyone was expecting another 'hit'.

 

It was five days before I was able to send a driver across country to get him out of the city (no cars to rent or buy). Our car was flying flags. Later that car had the bumper sticker - 'Never Forget'.

 

Never forget Daniel Rodriquez singing God Bless America at the World Series in Yankee stadium, as the eagle, Challenger, soared in and circled the stadium and Pres. Bush walking to the mound to throw the first pitch.

 

They had not canceled life in America. God Bless America was sung from sea to shining sea.

 

Our trip around the world was booked to begin on Sept. 21. It has never been rescheduled. But I did fly into New York on Dec.1. I had to or I could not begin to breathe normally. I had to go to ground zero... I was part of the solemn, silent pilgrimage that rounded a corner and saw the skeleton remains of the North Tower. I sat with strangers on a curbs opposite what I called "the Teddy Bear Wall" - an endless fences and walls filled with 'missing' photos and stuffed animals representing the love for those 'missing'.

 

We sat because it was impossible to walk with such grief. Intense mourning for each unknown face, name, and unclaimed teddy bears. Months passed and we were flying for the second time - this time into JFK. It was dusk -I looked out the window at Lower Manhattan and suddenly two blue beacons shot up into the sky. The first time they were turned on. Everyone on the plane cried.

052:

Tonight I watched a documentary on CBS that was filmed on 9/11/01 by two French filmmakers who had just happened to be filming the story of a young firefighter over that summer and early fall. Apparently this was the first time this actual footage has been shown on tv. It brought back so many memories of that day, but most of all it reminded me what caused this horrific event. Extremism, hate, absolutism, anger. When these conditions exist in a society and nothing is done to stop it, things like 9/11 can happen. While I don't believe the intention of the current extremism in our country is to bring down buildings and kill innocent people it can lead to nothing good. For our country to survive this economic crisis and move toward a better future all parties must come to the table and compromise. The Tea Party is showing extremism, absolutism and anger. They show disrespect for the offices of our government that serve us and protect us. This hurts our country. We should all be aware of the danger in just accepting this behavior instead of doing something to stop it. I would encourage all of us to speak out against this behavior and those that support it and promote it. Hate, anger and lies will not improve our country. Why can't we work together like we did on 9/12/01?

161:

I saw an excellent documentary on September 11 about the firefighter whose job it was to run up the stairs carrying 60 pounds of equipment to try to save people trapped on the floors above. Many of those who survived have experienced serious health problems, especially respiratory problems. Not just the firefighters, but police officers and also those who helped dig through the rubble. I hope our country is taking care of them.

203:

In the days following the recent 10th anniversary of 9/11, there was another news item about a young motorcyclist in Utah who had been hit by a car and ended up trapped beneath the car, while his motorcycle burst into flames. Bystanders and several men from a construction job ran over to lift the 2-ton car and drag the young man to safety. I wondered if the 9/11 state of mind – and the recognition given to brave heroes on that day – encouraged these men in some subliminal way to rush toward danger. I do notice in my brothers, my cousins, and other young men a desire to be heroic and brave in some way that helps the world.

203:

In the days following the recent 10th anniversary of 9/11, there was another news item about a young motorcyclist in Utah who had been hit by a car and ended up trapped beneath the car, while his motorcycle burst into flames. Bystanders and several men from a construction job ran over to lift the 2-ton car and drag the young man to safety. I wondered if the 9/11 state of mind – and the recognition given to brave heroes on that day – encouraged these men in some subliminal way to rush toward danger. I do notice in my brothers, my cousins, and other young men a desire to be heroic and brave in some way that helps the world.

161:

I saw an excellent documentary on September 11 about the firefighter whose job it was to run up the stairs carrying 60 pounds of equipment to try to save people trapped on the floors above. Many of those who survived have experienced serious health problems, especially respiratory problems. Not just the firefighters, but police officers and also those who helped dig through the rubble. I hope our country is taking care of them.

052:

Tonight I watched a documentary on CBS that was filmed on 9/11/01 by two French filmmakers who had just happened to be filming the story of a young firefighter over that summer and early fall. Apparently this was the first time this actual footage has been shown on tv. It brought back so many memories of that day, but most of all it reminded me what caused this horrific event. Extremism, hate, absolutism, anger. When these conditions exist in a society and nothing is done to stop it, things like 9/11 can happen. While I don't believe the intention of the current extremism in our country is to bring down buildings and kill innocent people it can lead to nothing good. For our country to survive this economic crisis and move toward a better future all parties must come to the table and compromise. The Tea Party is showing extremism, absolutism and anger. They show disrespect for the offices of our government that serve us and protect us. This hurts our country. We should all be aware of the danger in just accepting this behavior instead of doing something to stop it. I would encourage all of us to speak out against this behavior and those that support it and promote it. Hate, anger and lies will not improve our country. Why can't we work together like we did on 9/12/01?

030:

"Dear, is (your husband) in New York City today?"

- It was my Mom calling before the 'accepted' time to find me fully awake.

'Yes, Why?'

'Because there has been a plane accident.'

'No problem- he is at his NY office, not flying.'

'Well, dear, the accident was a plane crashing into an office building, so you might want to turn on your tv. I am sorry to wake you...but I thought you should know'...

 

The rapid slide into horror followed... second plane... attack not accident... flames smoke... possible rescue... turn the cameras away please from the alternative... running... watching... how will they stop the fire... and then - there it goes... panic... chaos... what next... and then next happened... the pentagon... and the remaining plane... 'lets roll'...

Where is my husband... where are all my New York friends... and what is next?

Suspended in time hours before I learned - My husband was walking 30 blocks to our upper East side apt on the 35 floor of building overlooking the city. My friends were also safe but unreachable. Everyone was expecting another 'hit'.

 

It was five days before I was able to send a driver across country to get him out of the city (no cars to rent or buy). Our car was flying flags. Later that car had the bumper sticker - 'Never Forget'.

 

Never forget Daniel Rodriquez singing God Bless America at the World Series in Yankee stadium, as the eagle, Challenger, soared in and circled the stadium and Pres. Bush walking to the mound to throw the first pitch.

 

They had not canceled life in America. God Bless America was sung from sea to shining sea.

 

Our trip around the world was booked to begin on Sept. 21. It has never been rescheduled. But I did fly into New York on Dec.1. I had to or I could not begin to breathe normally. I had to go to ground zero... I was part of the solemn, silent pilgrimage that rounded a corner and saw the skeleton remains of the North Tower. I sat with strangers on a curbs opposite what I called "the Teddy Bear Wall" - an endless fences and walls filled with 'missing' photos and stuffed animals representing the love for those 'missing'.

 

We sat because it was impossible to walk with such grief. Intense mourning for each unknown face, name, and unclaimed teddy bears. Months passed and we were flying for the second time - this time into JFK. It was dusk -I looked out the window at Lower Manhattan and suddenly two blue beacons shot up into the sky. The first time they were turned on. Everyone on the plane cried.

048:

In the early morning of Sept. 11, 2001 I was on my way to Rockford, IL for a business meeting and I stopped at the only place I could find for breakfast, a truck stop along Interstate 39. As I sat down at the counter with truck drivers and other travelers I looked up at the TV and saw the first World Trade Center with smoke billowing out of the side of building. People around me were commenting that they thought a small plane had hit the building, I immediately thought that that was not the case. Small planes don't just run into buildings in the crowded sky line of the lower east side of Manhattan. My thoughts turned to either a despondent person who was committing suicide or it was a terrorist. As I sat at the counter and watched the second plane hit the other tower there was no question in my mind that it was a terrorist attack. I left the restaurant and started calling family members to make sure everyone was safe and was aware of what had happened, especially our oldest son who spent time in and out of NewYork... all were safe in Chicago. Later as I arrived at my meeting near the Rockford airport; one commercial plane (United, American etc.) after another was landing at the normally quiet airport... I assumed that commercial planes were being grounded, another sign that the events of the morning were very serious. As I rode back to Chicago that afternoon speaking on the phone with family and colleagues the sad reality sunk in that life as we knew it would never be the same.

051:

As I read your 'memories of the day', my stomach turned into that now-too-familiar knot as I relived your moments. I vividly remember the morning; bright, crisp, beautiful fall crystal blue sky... the kind of day where nothing could ever go wrong. I had a play list of fav music going as I set my dining room table for a dinner party I was having mid-week. The tablecloth was on, the china & silverware set and finishing touches with flowers as I was perusing my shopping list. The phone rang, it was my husband, and he hastily told me to drop what I was doing and put on CNN. Being the obedient wife (chuckle, chuckle) I DID due to the seriousness and panic in his voice. I tuned in just as the second plane was hitting, thinking that it was a replay of an earlier event but then discovering it was live. I felt like it was the beginning of the end.

 

I began to pray and was glued to the set for quite awhile awaiting further news. My mind raced and I thought first of my children; two older children away at college and two younger sons in local schools. Figuring the older ones in MN and IN were in pretty safe spots, I almost panicked and ran to the schools to gather the younger two but my next thought was of my sister working out at O'Hare. I tried calling to no avail. She works as a Tour Director checking in people for their flights. When I couldn't reach her I called American Airlines as they had charters together. I talked with a friend of my sister’s who informed me that she believed my sister to be sealed in a flight that was grounded. Then she started getting hysterical saying " OMGOMG they are attacking the Sears Tower!" I asked her what was going on and she was reading off their ticker tape. The update was that there was a car bomb that went off at the Sears Tower. Of course, we later found out that this was erroneous information of which there was a lot going around.

 

I much later got a call from my little sis informing me that she was indeed on a lock-down on her flight. After a couple hours, her and her passengers were disembarked from the plane and put in a 'holding tank' with the FBI and later allowed to leave.

 

In the meantime, I headed right to church, which, no surprise to me, was filled. The whole day is embedded in my mind as I know it is for all who have lived through it. After watching numerous memorial programs, I still marvel at the strength and courage of the people of New York and the incredible heroes that met their end that day.

071:

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I am filled with sadness once again and apprehension. I was cleaning up the kitchen after my husband had left for the office (we lived in a highrise building in Chicago on the top level). All of a sudden a Breaking News Announcement came on the TV. I watched everything in amazement. I saw the second plane hit and explode. I will never forget it. I was frozen in font of the TV, filled with terror, dread and sadness. Forget work that day, I could not function. I called my son, husband and son-in-law to tell them to get out of the high rises they worked in and get home. Our son-in-law's building had already been evacuated. He worked less than a block from the Sear's Tower.

 

I never would have ever believed that anyone could possibly do such a heinous deed in the name of "God". My heart still breaks for all those people and their families. I will NEVER forget.

091:

My husband and I were standing in the front yard of our house which was under construction. We had Hispanics, Poles and who knows what others working on the house and they all had their radios on in different languages. They started acting agitated and looking around until the foreman finally came over to tell us what had happened. We rushed back to our temporary condo to watch with shock the replays. Never forget, even if the governmental powers don't invite clergy or firemen to the 10th anniversary service. And make sure our kids and grandkids remember.

 

Watching the two parties parade their obstinancy regarding the debt ceiling crisis reminds me of two people getting divorced and being willing to damage the kids just so they can get back at one another.

069:

On 9-11 I was at our local Middle School getting ready for a day of teaching. During my prep period 1st hr, my principal came to my door & asked if I was connected to the Internet. I was. He said that someone heard on the radio that a small plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. My husband is an airline pilot. My principal & I joked about a "pilot error" of this magnitude to fly into a Twin Tower. He asked me get on CNBC to check out the story. (The Internet was so busy I had one of only computers in our school connected to the Internet.)

 

As we looked at the screen the reports were confusing. Gradually we realized the awful truth, one of the Twin Towers had been hit by a big airliner. My husband, a pilot for American Airlines, was on a trip. I had no idea where he was at that moment. After living with his ever changing schedule for 30 years of flying I didn't even attempt to keep track. Suddenly I wanted to know exactly where he was. I punched his cell phone number into my cell phone. He answered. Unlike so many others that day, my call was answered. I feel so fortunate.

 

Note from IWD: In a statement, Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said the commemoration ceremony is for the victims' families. "While we are again focused on accommodating victims' family members, given the space constraints, we're working to find ways to recognize and honor first responders, and other groups, at different places and times," Brent said.

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