Thursday, September 11, 2008

another repost - this one from a year ago - where were you?

This entry is reposted from eHarlequin where I wrote this last year in memory of 9/11. I got tons of comments as a result of this entry when I posted it so I decided to repost it as well, in honor of Patriot Day... There are many similar thoughts as were in the other repost but some different as well.

Where were you?
on 9/11/01

I remember very clearly where I was when I heard what happened. I was sitting in my office at work, where we were located in a temporary space leased in a strip mall. I was sitting there working on something and one of the guy who worked with us came tearing into the office shouting "Turn on the radio! Do we have a TV? Turn it on if we do! The world trade center has just been hit!" there were only two of us there then, myself and Janet, in addition to Skip who is the one that came running in the door. I'm not sure where the other three who shared the space with us were at the time.

This was before they had all the instant messengers blocked on our work computers so I was chatting with three friends online while I worked as we were planning a trip for that weekend to Atlantic City. We were all internet friends who had never met in person and we were all suposed to come in to Atlantic City for the weekend to meet for the very first time. So immediately our conversation changed to the news about the attacks. And we kept having additional message windows pop up from other friends as well since everyone wanted to talk about the horror.

Shortly thereafter Janet (she was the head of the family support program) got the TV she had for her job sitting in the office working and it was very snowy and staticky but we could at least hear what was going on. We were in a steel building so we could never get a good radio signal to hear it that way. We all crowded into Janet's office to watch the blurry images over and over again as the reporters covered it all.

Then we heard something about the one plane flew right over downtown Pittsburgh (this was United Flight 93, the one where some of the passengers decided if they were going to die they were going to die fighting) before crashing. And the field it went down in is right near where one of my coworker/friends worked so I immediately was trying to call her too to see how close she was and to make sure everyone was OK. So then everyone in my family started calling everyone else, or trying to anyhow, to check in with each other.

My brother was attending the culinary institute so was downtown. My older sister worked as a manager at a Blockbuster on the far end of downtown from our house so she had to drive through town every day. My dad worked downtown. I forget exactly how or where I heard that many of the buildings in downtown had been evacuated as a precautionary measure bt somewhere I did and then I started to worry about dad. I was very worried I couldn't get a hold of him to make sure all was OK but I think I did manage to get Mom on the phone, who had heard from dad.

My dad was supposed to fly to Switzerland the next day but my brother thought he was supposed to fly out that day so he was freaking out worrying if dad's flight was one of the hijacked ones (this was before the exact flight numbers and where they were going to and from had been given out). My brother managed to get a hold of me before we started getting all the "all circuits are busy" messages so at least I was able to alleviate his fears about Dad not being on one of the flights.

The rest of the day is pretty much a blur for me. I only remember the morning really clearly, when all the news came out and my family and friends all calling each other in hopes we could make each other feel better after getting such dreadful news. I think I ended up leavng work around 1:00 or so, deciding it was more important to be at home surrounded by my loved ones than at work where I couldn't think straight with everything on the news and all the conversations.

Needless to say, my trip to Atlantic City to meet my friends had been cancelled since a few of them were to be flying in. My friend Sonia was up in Maine on vacation with a friend when it all happened and she couldn't even get home since all the airports were shut down. She was freaked out because here is such a huge tragedy going on and she couldn't even be with her family. She was from Boston and that's where one of the flights originated if I remember correctly so she was really worried. And with all the phones down from everyone trying to use them at once, she couldn't even talk to her family.


a repost from two years ago - a trip down memory lane

In honor of Patriot Day AKA 9/11, I dug up a blog out of the archives that I wrote two years ago about this horrific day. So I am reposting here for you all to read it again...

Today on the 5 year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I look back and remember...

~I remember sitting in the office and hearing Skip come running in shouting at the top of his lungs to turn on the TV or the radio, the world trade center was just attacked

~I remember Janet trying to get her TV to work well enough so we could watch in horror along with the rest of the country... and the world

~I remember being stunned to tears and silence as we saw the Pentagon get hit

~I remember hearing about the flight that went down in PA that had been headed for the White House because the passengers decided that if they were going to die then they were going to die fighting

~I remember the first time I heard the words "Let's roll..." right before those same passengers brought the plane down

~I remember instant messaging Sonia, Kimberly, Cari, and others as we all talked about what happened and how Kimberly gave us the NY perspective on what happening

~I remember frantically calling everyone in my family I could reach as we shared tears over the dreadful tragedy

~I remember Tommy being scared to death because Dad was going on a business trip to Europe and Tommy thought he had left that day (Dad was actually supposed to fly the very next day which of course, didn't happen)

~I remember trying like mad to get a hold of Dad, and unable to get through on the line because I had heard that the skyscrapers in downtown Pittsburgh had been evacuated (one of those buildings was where Dad worked and I was afraid of what that meant happened)

~I remember Sonia being stranded in Maine with a friend, unable to get home since her home airport was where two of the flights originated

~I remember just the day before this all happened being excited about a trip to Atlantic City on the coming weekend to meet Sonia, Kimberly, and Cari in person for the first time

~I also remember our conversations on the phone as we made the decision for our trip to take a backseat to post-9/11 happenings

~I remember President Bush coming on the air to tell the world what had happened and what he was going to do about it

~I remember Susan being hysterical because one of her closest friends worked in the World Trade Center and she was unable to reach her (her friend was one of the fortunate ones who got out safely)

~I remember watching the footage over and over again on every channel on TV and seeing those people jumping out the windows

~I remember the look on Janet's face when she learned some of her friends who worked in the Pentagon were missing and presumed dead

~I remember the brave firemen and police officers going in to try and save who they could... and most of them losing their lives in the process

~I remember seeing Mayor Giuliani breaking down on TV over what had happened

~I remember being unable to sleep that night because I couldn't get those images of horror out of my mind

I remember the positive too though

~I remember Mayor Giuliani also reaching through his grief to do some amazing things to get as much help as was possible to try and find survivors in the wreckage

~I remember our entire country coming together across race, religion, political parties and more to share grief, and provide comfort to complete strangers

~I remember so many of my friends and coworkers stepping up to assist wherever the could

~I remember the first time I saw images of the memorial beacons of light where the World Trade center once stood and the tears as a result of the powerful photo

~I remember our brave soldiers going off to do their duty and stand up for what our country believes in

~I remember those fireman who in the middle of the wreckage, hoisted the flag to say that no matter what, we will prevail

~I remember every single store being completely sold out of American Flags

~I remember seeing almost every house in our neighborhoods proudly waving the red, white and blue

~I remember when Mom found me the flag to hang on my car window and the fact I never took that flag down for at least a year

I remember how even now, 5 years later, though much still remains to be done, we have made great strides to rebuild, re-evaluate, reinforce our love and support for those who lost loved ones

I remember that though some of the soldiers fighting may not agree with the steps taken in the war, they stand proud and take them anyhow, performing their duty for the love of the USA and everything it means to us and to the world

I remember that even though many people may not agree with what our President has done since then in the War on Terror, I have no doubts that he is doing what he feels is right and needed

I remember that the US of A will come out stronger in the end

I will never forget...