In seven years' time

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Seven years ago this morning I alternated between watching the horror unfolding on my television and staring at a then-baby Liam jumping in his bouncy seat. He was smiling, laughing, oblivious. The contrast was terrifying. I had to hold him, as though my skinny arms could protect him from the wretchedness in New York and D.C. and the violation that had permeated our society.

 

While Al Qaeda may have acted thousands of miles away, they were in my country and to me, they might as well have been in my living room. I was scared before I was enraged. That anger has not dulled with time and while people sometimes get grief for taking more than an average interest in politics I'll tell you this: I don't know how a person can exist and not be somewhat engaged - no, I don't know how a person can be a mother, a parent, and not be involved simply as a safeguard for their children's future. Parenthood is political.

 

To that effect, I don't believe in apathy as a means to political correctness. I won't consider tolerance as a way to placate terrorism. Tolerance can be surrender.


I was going to post something else today about growing boys and the price to clothe them, but I cannot and will not ignore what happened to change this country, this world seven years ago today. Politics aside, it's important to remember today.

 

Where were you seven years ago this morning?


*Update: You should read this whole comment below. Derek writes:

"I would be in the Middle East not two weeks later and would work every day but 5 over the next year. I went to Afghanistan and since Sep 11th have seen and sat across from many al Qaeda terrorists. They have NO tolerance for the US and are the most hateful and hard people I have ever seen in my life. As long as our enemies wish harm and violence upon us, I'll keep working to stop them."


** Your comments are amazing. I'm going to be reading some of them on-air this Sunday evening. Thanks to those who have served/are serving. Just, wow.


88 Comments

I was scared and trying to stay alive that day. Here is my post about my ordeal that day http://tiny.cc/QaaDl

I was a junior in college. My then-roommate and I always manage to find humor in the memory of the day. We were English majors and didn't have class til the afternoon. We planned to get up "early" at 10 and workout. That morning, her mom called us and told us that a plane hit the World Trade Center. I think like a lot of people, we automatically thought it was a small one or two person plane and oh man, how sad for those people. We would learn later.

I'm not sure what got us out of bed, but we switched on the television not long after the second plane hit, and we were just silent. The school cancelled classes. People started to come together in various dorm rooms. Our room was packed with people. We watched the replays over and over.

That night, we went to dinner at a TGI-Friday's, with the need to get out. The televisions were on in the restaurant and when President Bush came on to give his speech, the entire restaurant went silent. It was amazing.

Not two weeks later, my university (Notre Dame)held the first football game following the attacks. I was a member of the marching band, and as we took the field to play America the Beautiful and the National Anthem, the entire stadium stood, as normal, but everyone was holding American flags up in front of them. All I could see were flags, and I have never heard a stadium sing the Anthem so loudly. I was so overcome that I probably managed only half the notes in the song. I have never been prouder to be an American than I was in that moment.

I had been sick for the entire year but was on the upswing. In a "relative" sort of way. I was in a total funk and I woke up at 9AM to find my wife watching TV in the living room and crying. She kept telling me that the buildings had fallen and, honestly, I though she was watching some "made-for-TV" movie. It took me about 20 minutes to accept the fact that I was watching live news coverage and not some tear-jerker on the Hallmark Channel. It was a day I would like to forget but with young adult children and a gorgeous granddaughter I cannot afford to. Nor should any of us.

I was having a similar day in a different time. I was working at my desk like I am now, but seven years ago I had no husband and no children. I was barely 21 but very much still a child myself. 9/11 not only brought about full adulthood but also brought me back to my Christian faith.

I had never felt fear like I did that day and I literally fell out of my chair to my knees and prayed to God.

I find it sad, but not surprising, that there's not more coverage on the anniversary today.

I was at work, also terrified. We ran down to an office with a TV and watched the towers fall. I was so naive. I asked the question, "Did they let the people off the plane?" Meaning before they crashed it, did the nice terrorists at least let the passengers off? My innocence died quickly that day. I was working in a gov't building next to an Air Force Base...they sent us home early. I cried getting ready for work the next morning, as I was scared to leave the house. I still live near the air force base and even though I should be used to the sound of the low-flying jets, they always put me on edge still. I didn't have kids on 9/11, now I have two. I still can't believe they were born into a world where THIS KIND of sh*t happens.

I remember having JC and Karen Kelly on the radio and I was in the car w/ my husband. We stopped for donunts, he was driving me to work. JC and Karen were very confused as to what they were showing on TV. There seemed to be a plane that hit the towers. My husband and I were realing from the diagnosis the day before of my best fried. He has ALS, Lou Gerhigs. We felt bad for the people killed in the "commuter plane". By the time I got to the job that I HATED news from the TV was different. Realizing that we were under attack was unreal. I spoke to customers and vendors on the East Coast who told me of seeing smoke from Long Island and New Jersey, they were worried for their neighbors and friends. We left work early that day and went home and watched TV, finding it hard to comprehend what happened. Tears flowed so easily for the world.
FYI: One of the favorite things I've heard regarding the attacks was what Dave Letterman said when he went back on the air. It was moving.

I remember having JC and Karen Kelly on the radio and I was in the car w/ my husband. We stopped for donunts, he was driving me to work. JC and Karen were very confused as to what they were showing on TV. There seemed to be a plane that hit the towers. My husband and I were realing from the diagnosis the day before of my best fried. He has ALS, Lou Gerhigs. We felt bad for the people killed in the "commuter plane". By the time I got to the job that I HATED news from the TV was different. Realizing that we were under attack was unreal. I spoke to customers and vendors on the East Coast who told me of seeing smoke from Long Island and New Jersey, they were worried for their neighbors and friends. We left work early that day and went home and watched TV, finding it hard to comprehend what happened. Tears flowed so easily for the world.
FYI: One of the favorite things I've heard regarding the attacks was what Dave Letterman said when he went back on the air. It was moving.

I was on a flight to London. We were stationed in Italy, and were taking our oldest, then 9months old, home to meet the grandparents for the first time. 5 hrs into a 10 hr flight, we were told “The borders of America are closed.” then diverted to London. Scary. I still remember the pure terror I felt when I found out hours later that not only were the rumors true, but the pentagon had been hit. I was irrationally afraid for my parents, even though they lived 20 miles away and would have had no reason to be there. I remember the panic that set in when I couldn't get through to them because the phone system was overloaded. I woke up @ 3am London time to try again, and the relief that flooded me when my dad answered the phone.

My family’s story is here - http://www.yuriar.com/wp/?p=142

I always say that day at 34 weeks pregnant watching it all unfold out the window is the day I began to understand what it really is to be a mom. And to be scared.

You're absolutely correct though, it's probably the day I also became political.

We had a nearly identical experience. My youngest daughter had just been born, and we were on maternity/paternity leave and getting ready to go to an antique store.

It was so surreal. We never watch TV, but a friend called and said we had to watch. I turned on the TV and shortly after saw the second plane hit. I couldn't believe what I was seeing!

My stomach wrenched as I knew we were headed to war, and turned to pride as our country rallied.

Now, any time you see a picture of New York, you check to see whether it was BEFORE or AFTER.

Seven years ago, I was holding my baby inside of my belly, hoping I could hold my entire family that closely to keep them safe. It was the beginning of a downward spiral of codependence, post-partum anxiety, and depression.

This was Day 1: http://livingintheory.blogspot.com/2008/09/seven.html

glued to the screen. holding my baby. putting on cartoons for his older brother in play room so the news wouldn't upset him. i would never be the same again.

At school... (just wrote a similar post:
http://andria-and-co.com/2008/09/11/911-7-years-later/) Great post, btw.

I sat on the couch and watched the second plane hit, live on television. I cried. I felt helpless. I didn't know what I should do with my day after that. Not wanting to spend it alone, I dressed and went to work.

We all spent the morning huddled around a radio listening to the horror continuing to unfold in New York. Finally, one of our senior art directors, whose son also worked with us, stood up from his chair and said, "I'm taking my son and we're going home to be with our family." We all followed suit. I spent the next 24 hours on the couch at my parents. I was 30 years old. And I was glad to be home.

I was driving to work when I heard the news on the radio. My family and I had just moved 2000 miles to St. Louis four weeks previous, and my wife and daughter were visiting family in Southern CA. No idea if they would ever be able to fly back.

I remember it was the only time that the NATO mutual defense treaty was in effect. Canadian Air Force planes were patrolling the midwest, and even though STL was still a hub airport at that time, it was silent. The skies were empty, the traffic was slow, and at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, the band played a song commemorating the defeat of their own military as a show of support. Children in the middle east danced in the streets while adults tossed sweets in celebration. Liberals and conservative lawmakers stood in a circle in front of the capitol building and sang "God Bless America". I remember being ashamed of myself for thinking "This won't change anything. They sing pleas to the heavens now, but they will forget and nothing will change." I remember thinking that life as we knew it was over - that we now had more in common with Israel than ever before, with the threats of attack, death, and destruction looming over every mall, every church, every business, every spot with a high potential body count. I wondered if we'd see bombs wrapped with nails dipped in rat poison, the poison there to keep wounds from clotting. I wondered if it was time to move to Idaho, to start raising chickens and wheat and carry a rifle every time I walked the property.

Since then, life goes on as it always has. Babies are born, children start kindergarten, grandparents die, we worry about money and raises and keeping the car going for another year. The family only comes together for funerals, so the fact that we haven't seen each other for three years is a blessing, I suppose. We are back to bickering over lipstick insults.

Most of all, we haven't been attacked again. And for that, I intend to pray tonight, and thank the good Lord for His protection, and for His patience for waiting a little longer before He comes down here to straighten us out.

I was at my then-boyfriend's house. I found out when he came home from school, ran to the back porch where I was smoking, and told me what happened.

I didn't believe him.

We turned on the television and watched the coverage of the towers (only one was down at the time) and freaking out. I was amazed at what I watched on television. Completely awestruck (not in a good way.)

Then my mother called me and asked if I'd been evacuated from Chicago because in her panic she forgot the Twin Towers were in New York.

We were glued to the television the rest of the day.

I think I'm either more cynical or accepting of the world as it is - I didn't have any thought for bringing children into the world, nor did I cling to my boyfriend (now husband) any more closely.

I could not figure out why the country mourned for those people. It was sad, yes. It was horrible, yes. But...they all had people to mourn for them. Family, friends...the usual. I remember my bitterness...my best friend had died of cancer eight months prior and no one mourned for her like they did for those people - because they died in public view and my friend died with only friends and family around her.

Maybe I was just a little bitter. Or in mourning. Who knows.

I was sitting in my office, in Yonkers (a few miles north of Manhattan) listening to the radio while working. I heard the announcers begin to talk about something happening, and they were actually seeing it from their station window. As the realization that something very horrible was taking place washed over them, and us, their tones changed and the terror I heard in their voices began to grip my heart like a vise. I was frozen in horror, as others in my office began turning up the radio and scrambling for TV's and cell phones and pulling up web pages like CNN, etc. Then the second plane came and the next tower was engulfed in flames. The announcers were struggling to comprehend what they were seeing, struggling to provide any information to us that they could, and then started crying as they told us they were seeing people jump out of the windows. Then they told us the buildings were falling. After the second one fell, everyone was getting frantic, word was that there were other planes not accounted for and we didn't know where they were going or what was happening, fighter jets started flying above us and sirens started blaring all around us, and then our electronic world went black. No TV, no radio, no land lines or cell phones worked, no internet. No way to get info and no way to tell anyone we were ok - so far.
As emergency vehicles left our area making their way to Manhattan, the streets went silent - busses stopped, cars stopped, people disappeared. The silence was so terrifying I could literally taste the fear in my mouth and feel it in the air. I distinctly remember hearing only two things at that point: church bells ringing and fighter jets circling overhead. I felt like I was moving on instinct, in a haze, and my hubby and I somehow found each other (I was working at the same campus where he was a grad student), locked hands, and walked toward the campus chapel as the bells rung. It was filling up with others who looked as dazed and devastated as we were, crying and praying. At some point a priest started praying and a makeshift choir formed at the music stands and prayers and music morphed into a service. At some point it seemed to come to an end, but no one left and we all stood there in heavy, heartbreaking silence. A priest came forward, softly urging everyone to hang on, keep praying, and put our heads together to see what we could do to help others who might be hurting or need immediate assistance. Teams were quickly formed and dispatched to Ground Zero. Many stories they came back with are too heartbreaking to repeat.
It was literally weeks before we all got forms of communication available to us again. While the rest of the country was watching everything happen over and over again on the news, we were cut off and wondering if the world was coming to an end - where was the next plane going to crash? Or bomb drop? We lived in a suspended state of terror for days. And I had just moved there 3 weeks before, from peaceful Minnesota. Talk about culture shock!
Big picture: I will never forget the way everything changed that day in the way I see human beings. Sure, I learned that there are those out there so gripped by hate they will do the unthinkable, but then many generations before me have been saying that all along. But on a more profound level I was awakened to the realization that any human being can drop their masks when they really need to, and are capable of the most incredibly selfless and heroic things imaginable and we CAN move fearlessly for good, just as forcefully as those who are twisted and move fearlessly for evil. Now that I'm a Mom, I want my kids to know how amazingly powerful people can be, and that actions and choices can move mountains. Yes, parenthood absolutely IS political. Tolerance totally CAN be surrender.

Since those years in NY, I've subsequently lived in St Louis (where I began reading Mamalogues!) had 3 babies, and now live again in peaceful Minnesota. But nothing, nowhere, can be the same as before. I don't share my 9/11 story with many but I'll pass on the lessons from it to my kids - and keep praying, keep working for a better life (on many levels), and choose what I must in order to protect and raise my kids.

Dana - if this is too long or too whatever, it's ok if you edit or choose not to post it. Just wanted to share, as a Mom. Thanks for being a passionate Mom and a voice out there!

Weeping and praying in the back of a classroom with students from all over the world as the unthinkable played over and over on a big screen television.

I was in my office. I just wrote about this. http://www.tiperfectionist.blogspot.com

I still get tears. Although my story is not particularly dramatic, this is the first time since 2001, I've written about the impact that day had on me. I only scratched the surface. I think I need to dig more.
Great post.

It even feels like a bad dream after 7 years. There is a surreal feelng in the air today.

I wrote this last night...It describes a small part of my 9/11...

My 9/11 was really like the rest of the country had known….. People at work hearing of the news and just trying to get home….

When I had heard the news of the first strike I was in disbelief.
I couldn’t understand why or who would cause us such horrible grief.

The phone was ringing at work with friends and family reaching out for a kind word
Asking “ How Are you? Have you called home? I can’t believe what I’ve just heard.

The news sparked a sense of the purest form of humanity like I have never seen.
People with incredible caring and thoughtfullness and yet like children trapped in a bad dream.

As I made my way home that day in a daze that seemed to never end.
I felt the need to stop in a familiar store and see a good good friend.

She was an old lady that worked the counter and always so sweet and kind.
She had been through this before, I had wondered what was on her mind.

I really didn’t need anything….I picked up a soda and a loaf of bread.
I grabbed her shoulder and asked “How are you?” and this is what she said….

“ I’m glad you stopped by. Hey…. I’m okay I guess.
but you go home and be with your wife and that new baby boy…That is what’s best.”

She said.” I’ve been through this before son, I promise everything will be okay”
“You just get home to your family and we’ll talk another day”

I said thank you of course,and told her that I would see her tomorrow.
That little old lady gave me strength on the way home even through all the sorrow.

As I made my way up my street and pulled into the drive.
I felt an overwhelming comfort and sadness… Yet a love of just being alive

I was tearing up before I even reached that big beautiful front door.
I took a deep breath for strength and God knows I needed more.

When I walked in I found my wife and my baby boy lying on a blanket on the floor.
My son was smiling as he saw me…… I couldn’t ask for more.

My wife said “ Daddy we missed you, why don’t you come and lay with us…
Your little boy is acting silly ….. and he’s making quite a fuss”.

I lay down between them and knew where I belonged was in that sweet place.
I found my joy in kissing that baby boy’s little happy baby lotion face.

Through all of the tragedy and the confusion, the emotion and everything so bad.
I found out the next day on 9/12… A girl!!…I would be a girl’s dad!

Through pain and death God also brings life and brings good..
He brings hope and promise just like he always said that he would.

I am not sure yet, How I will explain 9/11 to my kids or how I will tell this story.
I will for now continue to tell them of the majesty….and the wonders of God and America’s
glory.

God Bless.
LT....

I'm always embarrassed to tell people I slept though 9-11, at least the first hour of it. I woke up just in time to see the towers collapse. (I had been up early and had gone back to sleep, leaving the tv on in the background.) It took me a few seconds to realize what I was seeing was real, and not a movie.

I was part of an online forum that year that had a number of New Yorkers. I spent most of that day waiting for them to check in. It seems trite, but it was the only thing I could have done. It kept me connected in a small way, and away from the t.v.

I was walking out the door to go to work when our phone rang and our neighbor asked if we were watching TV. I ran upstairs to turn it back on and watched in horror as images of the first plane were looped over and over across the screen. I could not make myself move from that spot as I tried to wrap my head around what initially was thought to be a horrible accident. Friends of mine had been in NYC just that weekend for the US Open tennis tournament and had gone to the restaurant in the WTC. My husband kept saying that this looked too deliberate to be an accident. I finally pulled myself away and went to my car where the radios were by now dedicated to the scene in NYC and then the second plane hit the other tower and it became only too clear that this was not an accident but a deliberate act of carnage against our country. I found myself driving to work and paying very little attention to the drivers and traffic around me. I was on Interstate 270 when the first tower collapsed and a wave of nausea engulfed me as I realized the enormous loss of life that I was hearing in the thunderous roar of the collapsing building. Suddenly all I wanted to do was to call my daughter who was in college and hear her voice as I remembered several years earlier when we sat huddled around another TV looking at the Oklahoma City bombing coverage and realized that only 24 hours earlier she had been there and we knew the area well.

Such events are indelibly burned into our minds in a way that is life altering. I can also remember sitting in my 9th grade civics class with our teacher Mr. Terry Williams (who was an awesome teacher) when word came out about the shooting of President Kennedy. Mr. Williams shot out of the class and ran to the AV closet to commandeer a Television for us. As we sat in shocked silence, he turned on the little black and white set with a grainy image and said only these words. "Ladies and gentlemen, you are witnessing history unfold before your eyes."

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they're well said. I've been remembering this morning seven years ago, but haven't had any words... I remember my husband calling me from work, watching in shocked horror, and trying not to get too upset in front of my then 5yo son and 2yo daughter. Wow...seven years ago...

I was home, alone. My husband was in Atlanta and supposed to be flying home that day. Needless to say, he didn't make it. He managed to secure a rental car and got home late the next day. I was terrified. My brother was a sailor on a naval supply ship stationed in the Persian Gulf. I spoke a little about this on my blog this morning as well, but I too zoomed from terrified to enraged pretty quickly. And it still makes me mad today. Thanks for the accountability to be engaged politically. I confess that I bend toward apathy, not because I don't care but because the back and forth of politics overwhelmes me. It's good to be reminded that it's about more than me...

I was returning to work from maternity leave and had just dropped off my first born 12-week old son off at daycare for the first time. It had been a hard decision to make in the first place. I dropped him off and got in my car and turned on the radio when I heard the news. I sat in my car crying wondering what did I just do leaving my child? I'm sure I would have cried anyway, but this really made it difficult. He'll never know a life pre 9/11...


We were putting a contract on a new house that morning. It seems so selfish and petty in light of what happened that day. Thanks for reminding us that we need to remember and acknowledge the events of 9-11. I plan to write a post of my own about it.

I was teaching a classroom full of second graders, and had to leave immediately at lunch to go hold my new baby at the sitters.
Now my "new baby" is IN second grade.

I was working at Barnes-Jewish Hospital medical records department, filing cardiac cath results into outpatient charts when one of my co-workers came in the office and announced that one plane had hit one of the towers of the WTC and another had hit the other. The TV in our office, which was usually on the BJC channel (a channel that rotated like hospital news and all that while playing KEZK in the background), was changed to KSDK and everyone was glued to the TV set.

At lunchtime, a co-worker and I took our lunch and headed up to one of the waiting rooms to watch what was unfolded on another TV. Patients and visitors alike were just standing there, horror struck. I just couldn't believe it.

That evening, my ex-boyfriend and I had dinner at Casa Gallardo. We just had to get out of the house and were ended up seated next to a group of out-of-towners, stranded in St. Louis because their flights had been canceled.

The whole day was so surreal but I will never, ever forget it.

On my way to work listening to NPR; at work, watching it unfold on the Internet. Then crying because my mom called my office--she was in CA at the time and I was in STL, so she had just woken up--and said, "WHY DIDN'T YOU CALL ME?" and I didn't know. I didn't know why. and then my mother, "Your cousin Kim works in the South Tower. Have you heard from her?" And then the realization, and crying in the bathroom at my new job (I had only been there 2 months). And frantic calls between me and my aunt and mom and my cousin's sisters and my cousin's dad and then finally, FINALLY news that she was O.K.
In fact, she was in the South Tower when the North Tower was hit.
She fled and she made it, but could not go home to her apt. only blocks away due to smoke damage and air quality.
We had been close growing up, but had lost touch after HS. I talked to her on the phone that evening for the first time in years.
A few years ago, my daughter was in her wedding.
So I guess 9/11 brought us together again.

I also lost a college friend who had been working in the North Tower and was killed.

My dad lives in NJ where many of the people in his town work on Wall Street. There were funerals in his town every single day for weeks.

I know not one American NOT affected by 9/11, whether you knew someone personally or not.

And we should never, EVER forget.

My husband & I had just moved to Jersey City, NJ (right across the Hudson from the towers) for grad school less than a month earlier. We were in bed, asleep, when a friend in Kansas called us to tell us a plane just hit the towers.

We ran up to our roof & watched, horrified. And then one of the towers disappeared. We didn't know what was going on- we had no television or radio signal, so we just watched from our roof tried to call our families.

I will never forget how quite it was for weeks after it all happened. I will never forget being in the subway stations, the walls plastered with photos of people missing.

I was at work, in a federal gov't building, many states away from NY. When I got in people had started to gather in the lunchroom to watch tv. Then more of us gathered. Then the commander came through and shooed us back to our desks. We pulled the largest trucks and SUVs that employees owned into the parking spaces closest to the building and got to work. There was going to be a lot of disaster cleanup to do, we didn't get to leave work, be with our loved ones or go pray somewhere. We had work to do, to help save people.

Seven years ago today, I was in an office with primarily women. I learned of the tragedy when I arrived at work and saw everyone crowded around the TV watching the live news coverage of the flames and smoke. One woman, the mother of twins, left work almost as soon as she arrived. She said she just wanted to go home and be with them. I don't have children, and I remember thinking, "Wow, that's a feeling I'll never experience."

I was already at work when it all began, and I remember gathering in conference rooms to watch the TV. We had people in DC, working with the Gov't and Pentagon, (my brother-in-law being one of them, along with our CEO and various others of that level,) and people in NY in the Marriott that was between the towers. I remember the fear of not knowing how they were, the relief each time we found out someone was OK, as reports were given over the PA system at the office. My co-worker who was in the hotel had to walk out of Manhattan in her socks!! I believe she was profoundly affected by that day, and I know I was!! I remember the worry of how will they get home? Esp the ones in the hotel, who lost everything but what they had in their hands when they ran out of the hotel. We will never be the same.

I was in my office in Hillsboro when my boss came in and asked if I would turn on my radio. He said a plane just flew into the World Trade Center. We assumed it was a small plane and an accident. I can remember watching all day long and remember when the first tower fell and we knew it was just a matter of time until the other fell. A co-worker of mine had a brother assigned to Camp David and how worried she was it may get attacked as a known place of sanctuary for the president and its signifigant to peace talks in years past.

At work, listening to Howard Stern - KPNT switched to a live feed moments after it happened (normally a 1-hour delay).

Then driving home and marveling at how quiet the skies were - no planes, helicopters... very eerie.

9 days later I met my wife.

I was at Langley AFB at the firing range qualfying with my pistol so I could deploy the next week for a one year assignment to Saudi Arabia to our big air base in the desert. I remember walking in to work in a great mood because I had just qualified as an expert with the pistol and was stunned to see everyone upset and watching the TV. One of my coworkers was crying because his wife was in the Pentagon and he couldn't reach her (she was uninjured). The F-15s were taking off to protect the President and relieve the National Guard flying over the Capital as I went across the base to pick up my desert uniforms from supply.

I was in the Pentagon the day it opened for regular business and for all personnel so I could find my government passport and hand carry it to the Saudi embassy so I could get a visa that I needed so I could leave. I remember seeing guards in every hallway of the Pentagon and seeing burn marks on some of the walls and outlet covers. There were FBI agents and morticians in the north parking lot going through rubble being unloaded by trucks looking for evidence and remains. I also remember that Panera Bread (the name of STL Bread Co. out side of the STL area) closed down shop in Alexandria, VA after the attack and took their entire stock of food to the rescure workers and people at the Pentagon on Sep 11.

I would be in the Middle East not two weeks later and would work every day but 5 over the next year. I went to Afghanistan and since Sep 11th have seen and sat across from many al Qaeda terrorists. They have NO tolerance for the US and are the most hateful and hard people I have ever seen in my life. As long as our enemies wish harm and violence upon us, I'll keep working to stop them.

I was getting ready for work while my firstborn played in her exersaucer. We were in Lafayette Sq. at the time and I remember how beautiful the blue of the sky looked against the brick buildings. On 9-11-02, my second child was born.

I was on travel, working a DOD health care HR application project in Herndon, VA, when someone in the office said two planes had just hit the World Trade Center towers in NY. I turned the radio to a Washington, D.C. news station and they were saying a hijacked plane was heading toward Washington. We were ordered out of the office buildings into the largest traffic jam ever.

I returned to my nearby apartment and switched on the Foxnews channel to follow the coverage.

I went out on the balcony and it was eerily quiet. The weather was perfect, 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

Many consultants drove their rental cars home that weekend. For months after, the Hertz cars had a multitude of out-of-state license plates

I took my scheduled flight home to St. Louis on the following Friday. It was the first day that TWA returned to flying. Sen. Kit Bond was on the flight and we spoke with him in the Aviators lounge before the flight. He said airport security had taken a nail clipper from someone in his party. We wondered how that made us safer.

After boarding the flight, the seated passengers eyed each person with suspicion as they came down the aisle. It was that way for weeks after 9-11. We struck up conversations with the "regulars" that we recognized from earlier flights and quickly sized up who we could count on if things went bad.

I was living in Los Angeles,and one of my employees called to tell me turn the television on. I stared in horror at the screen, and immediately started calling the people in my office. We worked in a skyscraper in downtown LA, and no one knew if there were more planes on their way to the West Coast.

I called my boss in Arizona, and he thought that I had perhaps gone crazy. He told me to go into the office, and I told him there wasn't a chance I was going anywhere near downtown.

The rest of my day was spent in front of the television. I was too angry to cry at first, but over the next few weeks, the tears came pretty easily, as small acts of patriotism, prayer, and kindness around me would choke me up.

Two months later, my office shut down, and I packed up my car and drove back home to St Louis.

I was in History Class at Oakville.
Saw the 2nd plane hit. Teachers were terrified. We were all quiet. It was very scary.

I had just arrived to my Drawing class at college. The class was 8-10am CST and when I arrived, the 1st plane had just hit the tower.

There was a small radio in the studio broadcasting every detail.

Our jerk professor made us stay the ENTIRE TWO HOURS and work on line drawings, all the while listening in stunned silence to the horror unfold. Some students cried quietly behind their easels.

I remember stumbling back to my dorm room with tears streaming down my face...I glued myself to the couch and watched Peter Jennings on ABC for the next eight or so hours. Unable to move from that spot.

At some point, I put a tape into the VCR and just let it record...to this day I still haven't ventured to watch that footage.

I'm still angry too.

Subject: Thunder
Newsgroups: alt.slack,alt.friday
Date: Thu, Sep 13, 2001 9:56 PM

I just heard the sound of thunder outside.

And I went outside, and listened, and wondered if it really was thunder.

Welcome to how the rest of the world lives.

I was on the way to work, and was at Hwy 40 and Hampton near the zoo. Jim Cox, formerly of KEZK, was announcing that a 2nd "commuter" plane had hit one of the towers, and there was speculation of an air traffic control problem. When I got to work,we didn't realize the full extent of what was going on for awhile, but when we did, of course, we were glued to the few available TV's. A friend at work was very upset because her daughter-in-law worked in one of the towers. We later found out that she had gone into work late that morning, and was just coming up from the underground trains when the plan e hit her tower. Otherwise she would have been at her desk.

Later, we all gathered in the chapel at work (I was blessed to work at a religious agency at that time), just praying for safety for friends and family and all affected.

That evening, my daughter who had just started high school walked in the door at home with a plaintive "Mom?" I just went to her and grabbed her and hugged her.

I'll never forget how she sounded when she came through the door. At supper, she always said grace for our family...and broke down that night trying to pray. We all did. A short month later, this same daughter would lose a friend in a car accident who she had gone to school with since preschool. Those events are tied together for me, for her. Starting high school staring down mortality so soon. The week after the friend's death, she and her other classmates were confirmed at church, publicly sharing and affirming their faith...made all the more meaningful by the events that were so fresh in everyone's mind. It became not just a ceremony, but a victory of faith over darkness...for the kids and the parents.

Being a parent changes everything...and you are right, it is political. We can't be bystanders - there's too much at stake.

I was on Marine Corps Base Parris Island, on training day 1 of recruit training. I guess you could say my platoon guessed where we were heading after boot camp. And we were right.

I was getting ready for a college class in art history. At the time I was living with my parents and my mom had on the Today show. I remember non-chalantly commenting to my mom "hmmm, must have been terrorists." I called my then boyfriend (now my husband) who was a brand new career firefighter. I told him that a plane crashed in the middle of New York City. He was sleeping and I got a grunt for a response as he hung up on me. I got in my car and drove to school thinking the whole time that he really has no idea right now how this event is effecting not only the entire world, but how it will effect his career for the rest of his life. It was only a minute later and he called me back "you weren't kidding". I dont think he turned the TV off for the next 7 days.
Today, we have an 8 week old son, who i am certain, will become a firefighter. I heard my husband talking to him today about the events of 7 years ago and how the world has changed, and how he will read about all of this in his history books. He told him about all the hero's that died that day.
Its crazy how we dont remember what we did yesterday, but that morning will be in our memories forever. You "Never will forget"

I was pregnant and working from home at the time - I had forwarded a funny email to my sister who replied by asking me if I was out of my mind - did I not know what was going on in New York right.this.second. My boss was on a plane on his way back to Pittsburgh and I knew that he, his wife and kids lived somewhere "in the area" of the Pentagon. I spent the day in shock, horror and fear of the world I was bringing a child into. I don't think I stopped crying for days. I'm glad I was in the privacy of my own home that day.

I was living in Belleville, my boyfriend (now husband) in New York. He's a native. The night before, I flew back to St. Louis from a meeting in DC, and slept in on September 11.

I thought it was a hoax, similar to "War of the Worlds." And I was ticked anyone would think something like that should be repeated.

When it sank in, I called my bf in NY, and he thought I was being dramatic. Then together we watched the second tower fall, saying very little on the telephone.

He lost a neighbor, I lost someone I knew who was NYPD, and my father in law walked home from Manhattan, back to Long Island. But he was alive.

Tony (DH) said to me that day, "People are going to forget about this in a year."

It's beautiful to see you all haven't forgotten. Please don't.

I was teaching a class of 7th graders when it happened. I had no idea because no one bothered to tell us. The teacher next door to me had heard and turned on the news and let the kids watch history unfold. When they came to my class and told me, I didn't, no couldn't, comprehend. I told them we would not be disucssing it; we would discuss Language Arts that day. I didn't have any info. and our principal didn't want the kids panicking. I went home and sat in front of the TV and cried. Since then, I've married, had two babies, and am still in the same classroom. When I picked my 3 and a half year old up from school today, he showed me a "pin." It was a red, white, and blue ribbon. He told me that he had it on because a few years ago two airplanes with drivers hit a building and all the people died. I was torn between amazement and anger that they had talked about it with preschoolers. I asked him if he knew what it meant when someone died. He said he didn't and asked me to explain it to him. I wasn't prepared for this, so I gave him the easiest explanation I could think of. I told him when people died it meant they went away and they could never come back.He seemed ok with that explanation. I know we can't shelter them from everything, but I so wanted to right then and couldn't.

I was two months away from having my first-born. I had the same feelings as you. Sadness, horrifying. And being Muslim myself, definitely felt a complex set of having to grieve, yet having to defend my faith, which still is not to hold blame for the actions of people I cannot understand.
I also want to take the time to remember the terrorist bombing in Oklahoma, in April 1995. Bc people forget that was the first big terrorist attack on our soil, in which little children died.
I lived in the mid-west then before moving to east coast.
I'll never forget the photo of the fireman holding a dead child in his hand. I remember him saying in a media interview that as he held that child's body, covered in blood and bruises, all he could realize is that somebody doesn't know their child has died. and that to this day kills me. and saddens me. as much as watching magazine images of people jumping out of the world trade centers.
I can't fathom the pain of these families. I hope they know the pain is not forgotten. And I pray that they have found strength and love still.

I remember looking back and forth between the tv and my sleeping baby boy. I remember wanting to protect him but feeling completely powerless to do so.

You're welcome. I'm glad that you were moved by post. Keep up the great blog!

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27%


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48%
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