Friday, September 11, 2009

What were you doing 8 years ago today?

Monday, September 11, 2001

My day began as most did back then. Awakened by the soft cries from the baby monitor, I dragged myself out of bed and made my way upstairs to tend to my baby girl, just over a month old. With a full tummy and a clean diaper, she fell asleep in my arms and I enjoyed the few precious moments of quiet before my four year old boy came bounding down the stairs.

My husband was enroute to the airport. He had reservations for a flight to California. A flight that would not take off that morning.

By 7:00 a.m. CST, my son had eaten his breakfast and was watching Franklin the Turtle on Nick Jr.

A few minutes before 8:00 AM, the phone rang. I correctly assumed that it was my husband calling to check in.

"Good morning," I said.

"Are you watching TV?"

"Cameron's watching Nick Jr. Franklin's on and..."

"Turn on the news."

"What's going on?"

"Turn on the news!"

"Okay, but..."

I watched in stunned silence as smoke poured out of the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Moments later, still on the phone with my husband, my mind tried to compute what my eyes were seeing on the television screen.

I thought to myself, "Are they showing a re-run from a different angle? No, that's not the case because the building beside it is already burning."

What I and millions of others were witnessing live on television was United Airlines Flight #175 crashing into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

"What does this mean? What does this mean?!?

"It means we've been attacked. It means we're going to war."

  • 8:46 a.m. EST American Airlines Flight #11 strikes the North Tower of the World Trade Center
  • 9:03 a.m. EST United Airlines Flight #175 strikes the South Tower of the World Trade Center
  • 9:37 a.m. EST American Airlines Flight #77 strikes the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
  • 10:03 a.m. EST United Airlines Flight #93 crashes in a field near Shanksville, PA.

Where were you the day the world changed forever?


Anonymous said...

I was getting ready to wake my little ones when the phone rang. My mom was crying and told me to turn on the news, much like your own phone call.
Once I walked to the family room and I turned on the TV I couldn't stop watching...then the second plane crashed and I was stunned.

My heart broke then and it continues to ache for those who lost their loved ones, as well as for the men and women who are still sacrificing so much to keep us safe!

Heather of the EO said...

I was driving to work. I turned on the radio as soon as I got in and of course the news was everywhere. I couldn't make sense of it, flipping from one channel to the next, trying to put together the puzzle. So I called my Dad from the car and he said, "Yeah, this is bad." We listened together a little while as I drove. I was on a freeway that was eerily NOT full of traffic as usual. The cars that were there were all going 40mph or under, people with their mouths open, stunned behind their steering wheels. We were all slowly driving and crying. SO sad and so shocking.

LisaShaw said...

I'm remembering and praying today. I shared on my link about the day.

It's one not to be forgotten.

Blessings and peace to you and your family.

bman said...

Interestingly enough, I was in my government class in high school.

Candy said...

I was at work. As horrible as it was, we had about a dozen patients that needed our attention. After we sent all the patients home, our staff all collapsed in a heap of bottled up emotion and tears.

Billy Coffey said...

I was just waking up and getting ready to enjoy a day off from work. I sat on the edge of the bed and turned the television on to catch the morning news. I didn't move until 10:00 that night.

Joanna said...

I was 13 at the time and in my first year of highschool. The terrible events of that day happened quite late at night Australian time. I was already in bed because i had to be up early for school band rehearsal the next morning. I stumbled out of bed early the next morning to be greeted by my mom telling me the news. She looked really tired so at first i thought it was just another of her crazy dreams. I turned on the TV to find out it was true. Couldn't watch for long because i had to get to the band rehearsal. I was horrified to find that even though people had only heard about it a very short time ago and noone really knew what was happening that people were already saying horrible racist things about Arab people. In some of the classes that day teachers allowed us to talk about what had happened. Some persisted with the planned lessons. After such a monumental event it seemed absurd to be talking about rain forests or whatever else we were meant to be studying at the time.

Marni said...

I was working from home during that time. I had just settled my 18 month old down with some cereal and she was watching Bob the Builder on Nickelodeon. My husband called and said "Are you watching the news?"...

We have a World Trade Center in Dallas. It's only about 10 stories or so high. When he said a plane hit the World Trade Center, I thought he meant the one in Dallas, and I thought it must have been a small plane and was just a tragic accident. "No", he said. "New York. A commercial airliner". I switched over to the news in time to see the second plane hit the second tower.

What I remember most vividly is for the next 4 days, not seeing any planes at all. We live 35 minutes from DFW International Airport. We see planes to the north of our house 24/7. It was surreal to see nothing...

My heart aches for the families today just like it did in 2001. And I'm praying for this scary, fallen world we live in.

Tony C said...

I had just finished a meeting and walked into a room where the TV was showing the first building burning. At that point, there was only speculation...then the second plane slammed into the other tower as we watched. The dozen of so people in the room stood and watched in silence and in complete shock.

I remember a short time later being overwhelmed with anger. I sent nonessential people home to be with family because work had pretty much ceased anyway.

It was hard to focus and stay on task. I remember the same feeling in the pit of my stomach watching the Challenger explosion live in 1986 but without the post-anger.

May we never forget...

Gretchen said...

I pulled into the train station in London after 1.5 weeks in Kent. I was at an internet cafe with some friends, and none of us could get into our email. Then one of them got a text message from his sister in the Philippines. Another was able to get into BBC News and we watched what was happening on the computer. It was surreal, more like a movie than a real-life event. Soon the streets in London were flooded with people; Tony Blair had called a state of emergency and asked all businesses to be evacuated in case something like that were to happen there.

The next day I flew to Poland. I had to check EVERYTHING including carryon luggage. Lines everywhere. I switched planes in Germany, and the customs people saw my passport and said,"I'm so sorry". It was a very surreal experience, being an American abroad as events unfolded.

Helen said...

HelenmigonI was teaching. We were allowed to put on the t.v. so the kids could watch, but I didn't. They were 8 and I felt they were too young to have this tragedy dumped on them without their parent.
I write more about it in my post today.

Sarah Salter said...

I was coming out of my 9 AM class at college. For the first time ever, the TV's in the lobby of the building were on and the professors were gathered around them.

Daivd said...

Everyone remembers exactly what they were doing at the time.

I had stopped by the office to finish up a few things before leaving on a business trip to El Paso. I was minutes away from heading to the Houston airport to catch my flight when someone came in with the news.

A few months later I found out that a girl I went to high school with (20 years prior) was on Flight 93, adding to the incredible sadness.

Beth said...

I think I'm gonna blog about it.

jasonS said...

Someone called and asked me if I knew what was happening. I turned on the TV just before the 2nd plane hit and saw it live. Such a strange feeling or numbness and helplessness. Good to remember so we know how to move forward.

Russell Holloway said...

My mother-in-law was visiting and we listened to what was happening on the radio...

"Where were you the day the world changed forever?"

In my mind, I'm not sure the world changed so much as the USA joined the rest of the world that day...

Joanne Sher said...

I was actually at a Ladies' Bible Study. Pastor came in and mentioned it after the first tower was hit, then again after the second. We prayed the whole two hours of Bible study.

Anonymous said...

I was at work. The message spread from cubicle to cubicle: "Turn on the radio."

I remember how eerily empty the skies were during the fly restrictions. And our town had an annual balloon festival, but they couldn't fly the balloons.

When I taught general education middle schoolers, I always had a serious 9/11 lesson. I showed pictures and videos, and there was always a great discussion. I hope other teachers are still doing the same.