Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you...

... nine years ago?

I was in the kitchen, clearing the breakfast dishes. I turned on our little TV there. Charlie Gibson was reporting that there had been a horrible accident, as a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers. ... and then we watched as another plane flew into the other tower.

We all realized it wasn't an accident.

That day was surreal, wasn't it?

I kept thinking, what else will happen?

I just knew that life as we had known it was over.

That afternoon I went to a doctors' office building in Grapevine. I got into the elevator. There were maybe 5 people in there including me.

Usually strangers say nothing to each other in an elevator, unless there is some cute child in there who wants to push the button.

That day, someone said something like, "Can you believe it?"

"No." We all replied.

"Everything is different now.

"God help us."

(Comments like that.)

We all seemed to be united ... as Americans.

Fortunately (understatement) we have not had such a horrific incident since then.
I'm curious.
Where were you, blog-reader?

You may not want to write a comment.
I understand.


But no pressure.
(Maybe a little.)

Where were you?

Leave a short comment, okay? Either here or on Facebook.

It can be anonymous.
Just say where you were.

I'd really like to know.




Anonymous said...

I was getting ready to go to the office, and coordinating some workers at the house (we were doing a remodel). Then all the workers came into the kitchen and watched the news.

Anonymous said...

I was at school and had just finished making my first round of the school campus making sure everything was in running order and school doors properly closed when my counselor came in and told me that America, that we were under attack.....I couldn't seem to wrap my brain on the words I had just heard....our beautiful USA under attack....What? How could this be happening? We have so many sophisticated, top of the line resources to defend us...yet it happened. So it was a scary, shaky school...being the elementary principal. Diana F Alcocer

arg said...

I was in class. Everyone's (there were only about 15 people) phones were going off with texts, calls, emails... The prof turned on the tv when someone told him what was going on. He dismissed us but no one moved - we were all frozen and glued to the tv. We probably stayed together in that classroom for a solid 2 hours just watching the coverage in disbelief.

Nancy said...

Thanks so much, Diana F.A.

And thanks, Honey-Sam.

Nancy said...

Thanks, arg. Oh my... disbelief for sure.

Being Beth said...

I had just returned from dropping my kids off at school, went in the kitchen, flipped on the TV to the Today Show, and heard Katie Couric saying that a plane had just flown into the first tower. I called my husband at work and told him there had been a terrible plane accident in NYC. As I told him what I knew, with one eye on the TV, I saw the second plane crash into the other tower and said, "Oh,, something very bad is happening." I ended up staying on the phone with my husband the entire morning, feeding information to all the guys in his group that had gathered around his desk.

Then, typical of me, that afternoon sat down and wrote an article about what it meant to me to be an American and sent it to the Dallas Morning News where it was published. It was the first piece I'd ever published.

The next few days will always stand out as life changing for me. There was such a feeling of solidarity and patriotism. Everyone was patient with one another. I saw kindness and compassion that I'd not seen before. Strangers spoke to one another. I attended some school functions, and every single person sang the national anthem and God Bless America with full voice, holding hands, hugging whoever was beside them. For a few days, there was no racism, none of the things that normally divide and separate us from one another. We were all One Nation, under God, indivisible.

And I was so glad to experience that and to KNOW that the freedoms we are given that sometimes seem to divide us also bind us together as they have for over 200 years.

Thanks for asking that question today, Nancy.

sara [at] journey of doing said...

I was on the west coast, my first full week of school at UoR. Fast asleep. The phone rang and I heard my roommate tell whoever was on the other end that I was asleep and she wouldn't wake me.

I went back to sleep.

When I woke up, I showered, and I started reading the headlines on yahoo news. It was surreal. I called my mom, crying, asking what was going on... The towers had already fallen, the pentagon had already been targeted, and the plane had crashed in Pennsylvania.

Many months later, I found out that one of my friends from high school was the one who called. She knew my mom did a lot of work in NYC and wanted to know she was safe. She was. She was on a flight that had been grounded. They were supposed to be going to NYC to sell the restaurant.

My friend Katie was at Parsons School of Design -- she had just started, too. I spent a lot of time trying to get a hold of her or her mom to make sure she was safe. Many of her classmates lost one or both of their parents. She just thought there had been an accident, and she was headed downtown to try and photograph it. Her mom said to stay where she was.

I immediately went to the SLIC office, and we set up a blood drive. And a relay event to raise money. And a candlelight vigil. At Redlands, you could make those sorts of things happen.

I didn't have a TV at that time, so it wasn't until a year later on 09/11/02 did I see the towers actually fall. I had read everything I could get my hands on, but I had never seen the footage.

Sometimes I wish I hadn't.

sara [at] journey of doing said...

Oh, and my first class that day was world politics. We were all indignant -- how could this happen?

My professor asked us to consider the following questions, "Why would this happen? What made these people do this? Why would they feel this would be an effective means to communicating their point?"

The class remained silent for the rest of the period.

Diana said...

I was working at McAllen High School...doing my normal routine. Someone called and said turn on the TV. We did. It was 9:00 a.m. The second plane hadn't hit the tower. We stayed glued to the TV, not believing what we saw...all we could do was pray and cry.

Maria said...

I was sitting on the runway at DFW at 8:30 in the morning. I was headed for a conference in NYC, after which we had great plans to tour the Big Apple, including the towers. Our plane began to taxi the runway, but it was going slower than a regular takeoff. I was terrified thinking we weren't going to get off the ground before we ran out of runway, when we came to a halt. We sat on the tarmac for about an hour getting reports from family on our cell phones. It seemed like an eternity. It was surreal. I called Eddie and told me that planes were being hijacked, even the Pentagon had been struck. I called my boss and she told me that both towers in NYC had been struck and collapsed as a result of hijacked commercial planes.

It got really quiet as we sat there knowing half of what was going on and being on a plane bound for NYC. I remember, probably for the first time, looking around at every face around me, not sure if there was any possibility that our plane could have a terrorist on board too. I was wondering how many planes across the nation were being hijacked. I wondered if they were going to let us go home.

Then, I remembered Elizabeth. She was 12 at the time and was excited for my trip to NYC. Did she know what was going on? Did she think I was in the air? Did she think my plane made it to NYC? Did she think I was on one of the planes that struck the towers? I just wanted to get to her. I called the school and they said that several of the parents were picking up their children. I told them I would come to get my daughter too, but I didn’t know when they would let us leave. Then, I asked them to please give her a message, if her class knew what was going on. Please tell her that “I didn’t go to NYC.”

I remember the following months I truly mourned with the nation. Even now, I grieve to the loss and suffering, how tremendous it was. It only touched me personally for a little while. The reality for everyone was forever changed.

alice said...

I was in Brindisi,(SP?)Italy.On our sail boat in a marina. it was late afternoon, and someones child called them from California with the news. The boater got on the radio to tell all of us the news. We ran to the marina restaurant where there was a TV, but the news was just ending..we saw a minute or two of the towers falling.. and them Italian TV ran a game show. There must have been 30 of us..Americans on sail boats..standing together in tears and not being able to get any more news. A horrible feeling. We all tried calling home, but phone lines were jammed. The next few weeks we got only pieces of information, and didn't get the full impact until we flew home in October...and then were glued to the TV..and in tears for days...really going through the shock everyone here had had weeks before. We proudly flew the American flag every we sailed between 9/11 and mid October..even though we were advised by the Italian Government that it was not safe. We were asked to take the flag down in a few marinas, but did not. We left the boat in Malta, flag flying high,and came back to such a sad country in October.

Ryan Maxwell said...

I was in highschool! I wee-little sophmore-hippie-ryan with long hair and no beard. sitting in a sub-par history class taught by the tennis coach.

we had a tv in the room and were watching the events...

i remember it well.

Anonymous said...

I was driving thru Gilmer Texas on my way to Athens to host a seminar for senior adults. By the time I reached the hotel where the seminar was scheduled to take place, the first tower had already fallen. I found the hotel to be vacant. Eveyone was in the bar where the only television was located. I arrived just in time to see the second tower fall. Brian McElhany

Susan said...

I remember taking my children and a carpooling friend to school and hearing the news about the 1 plane on the radio. Dropped the kids off and turned on the TV. I saw the second plane hit and then saw people jumping from windows. I will always remember that sight. A sense of panic overtook me. I went and picked up the kids from school and was glued to the television for days.
One other thing I remember, just like Beth said, people were good to each other. I imagined through all the hell, that must be what heaven is like. People being patient, loving and kind, blessing one another as they are leaving. Funny the things you remember.-Susan

Susan said...

One more thing. I remember people going to churches in droves to pray or be comforted or something. That was another awesome thing that came out of such tragedy.

Deanna said...

I was living in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) and had gone to work early. Stepped into my boss's office to say good morning (it was around 7 a.m. and no one else was in the office on our floor yet) and he told me a plane had flown into the WTC. I didn't understand at first, thought huh? is he making a bad joke?? Then it hit me. Rushed back to my office to get online and see if I could find any news but most news sites were blocked on our office computers. Called Kevin (hubby) and he turned on the television in their offices. I just wanted to go grab Sean (our son) from school, grab Kevin, and all go home and huddle together. Spent much of the morning huddled with co-workers in front of the televisions down on the foodcourt level of our office building. Went at lunch and sat with Kevin and his co-workers in front of their television in their conference room. Must say I didn't get much productive done that day at work. Felt scared, in shock, and so very sad for the people who lost loved ones that day. Kept waiting for something else to happen. But I will never forget my feeling of total disbelief and shock when my boss first spoke those words . . . "a plane has crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center . . ."

The following March/April, I spent 6 weeks working in an oilfield camp in Yemen, delivering training and assisting with "go-live" for a computer system implementation. Half of my students were middle eastern nationals. One young engineer was expecting his first child, and planned on naming the baby Osama if it was a boy. I was so glad when my "hitch" was up, and I was on that plane on my way home.

Allison L said...

I was getting my braces tightened and the receptionist grabbed the orthodontist to come listen to the what was on the radio. i was left in the chair for nearly 20 minutes before they realized i was there!

Anonymous said...

I was with you getting ready to leave for school. In all of my classes that day we just watched the news. I remember my first class was Latin.

Rachael Anne said...

wow...the comment Maria left (even though I don't know her!) gave me serious chills. how frightening.

I was on my way to school that day, as a freshman in high school. My mom was a jury duty so my stepdad was taking me to school. Mom called us just as we were walking out the door, and told us about the first tower. We watched as the first tower fell, and by the time I got to school the second tower had fallen. The day went on, as teachers tried to make it as normal as possible. I even had swim team practice that afternoon.

How strange it is to think that my life, from the very beginning of high school has been lived post 9-11. It marks a very clear distinction between the world of my childhood and the world we live in now.

Anonymous said...

Frank & I were staying with Ethan & Eric (grandsons) because their parents were in Hawai. We were in the car taking Ethan to pre-school(he did not want to go) when we heard. We went home and watched in disbelief the towers both collapsed. I will never forget how I felt that day.

Anonymous said...

I was at work in a call center for DirecTV, in Boise. I remember that the call volume went down to almost nothing, and we were sitting, all of us watching the TVs in our bays. I also remember the idiot woman who I was unlucky enough to have to talk to. She was mad because her tech didn't show for her service call. He was a little busy taking care of a family emergency in NYC. - Teri

Anonymous said...

I was teaching music to 4th graders in Highland Village. The vice principal came in to whisper to me that America was under attack, and we couldn't tell the kids anything. I remember not really understanding what the heck that meant. And little old small town me didn't even know what the twin towers were. At lunch time I finally got to a TV to see what was going on, and then finish the day teaching like nothing had happened.

I do miss the post 9/11 feeling of patriotism, especially being able to teach patriotic songs, and having kids sing them with gusto and with pride. It is not the same with elementary schoolers anymore...

Myra said...

I was getting dressed for work when my husband called to tell me to stop and watch the news. He was in Dallas for his cousins funeral(suicide) and would be driving home later. My daughter was already at her high school and my son was getting ready to go to class (in Kingsville). Stood watching, half dressed, as the 2nd plane hit the was somthing that had been building for a long time...we just kept pushing it to the back, as a nation, how do we not profile?....It's hard not to but it's not right to.

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