Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memory ...

Where was I during the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on this day ten years ago?
I was at home in Florida, having my usual cup of coffee and watching CNN--a morning ritual at the time.  It was before marriage and kids and I could do those kinds of things.

When the first plane hit, I watched it on CNN thinking it was a joke. A scene from a new movie, perhaps, but definitely not real. It was like the earth stopped spinning. I think we all just kind of looked on in awe, not knowing what to think or do. My Hubby (then boyfriend) was in the other room and I  told him to come watch the news.

We both sat glued to the TV all morning, as did people around the world. I tried calling my parents from my cell phone but couldn't get a line out for hours. I had to work that day at the airline. This is back when I worked in the office at the airport and all planes were grounded all over the country. The first time in history that ever happened. 

Now, I know what I went through as an airline agent is nothing compared to what people in the heart of the chaos endured. But let me tell you, taking calls from frantic passengers was tough. All kinds of emotion was swirling around in the air and airline workers took a beating.

One passenger told me he wished I had been on one of the planes that went down, all because I couldn't do what he was asking me to do. 

Nice, huh?

But that was the kind of day 9/11/2001 was. 

I've been to the top of the WTC. It was a breathtaking view.

I work for United Airlines.

I'm married to a firefighter, and I know how hard they work and how much they care about saving lives. This last picture really hits home, just imagining what they went through .... the people they couldn't save, the brothers and sisters they never saw again... missing in the rubble; the unborn children they'd never meet, the families they left behind ...

And it was the same for people from all over the world.

The sadness, the heartache, the anger, the confusion .... we all shared it. We were united through loss.

I won't go into my thoughts on killing in the name of God. That's a bucket of worms that need not be opened on a blog. 

I'll simply say, the lives lost on September 11, 2001 was devastating to all the world. No life was worth any more than another, regardless of race, religion, or nationality. Everyone lost that day. 

In memory of those we lost .....

Do you have a memory to share?


Madeleine said...

It is very, very sad and unforgettable day. Sadly happening on my Dad's birthday and affecting thousands of lives forever.

To my personal chagrin, a blog post I had scheduled for tommorrow posted up today, so I had to remove it out of respect as it didn't seem appropriate for today.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was at work, watching the events unfold all day. That day affected the entire world.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I was at the was the 3rd anniversary of my husband's passing, people walking by were talking about this evil attack on your fine contry.

I have been to Ground Zero back in May and it was the most awesome experience, crowds were there but the silence was deafening,


Michael Di Gesu said...

I was in Las Vegas visiting my Dad at the time. As a New Yorker the phone rang at 6 AM. I'll never forget the shaking voice on the other end.

My friend from Florida called. She whispered turned on the news and then went silent.

In horror, I watched the second tower go down. I couldn't breathe. I will NEVER forget it.

Old Kitty said...

I am lighting a candle in my heart for all the lives lost.

I was at work and I remember the BBC news and much of the internet blanking out because of the volume of traffic to websites.

Take care

Anonymous said...

I remember going to work. I was a manager and we got together and thought of ways to console grieving workers. Our offices were on the 20th floor looking out over Orange County airport. It was eery to seem them strategically placed as far away as possible from the hangers. We ended up sending everybody home so they could be with their families and grieve in their own ways.

Carol Riggs said...

Lovely and touching thoughts; I can imagine you were more impacted, working for the airlines, and your hubby/then boyfriend being a firefighter. Yes, it was a tragic day.

Nas Dean said...

It was after midnight in New Zealand, where we were living at the time. Someone rang to say turn on the TV and then we stayed glued to the TV for days afterwards. It was horrific. And at the time we didn't know much about terrorists.

Such a sad day.

William Kendall said...

It's hard to believe it's already been ten years.

I got the call that day from an aunt to turn on the television. Like everyone else, it was horrific to see it happening.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I was called in on my day off to meet the hospitals ordering blood in a panic in preparation for more terrorist attacks.

Mankind is seldom kind. Sad to hear about that one passenger being so callous and self-centered in wishing you aboard one of the crashed airliners, Roland

fOIS In The City said...

I too watched on in horror, thinking of my kids in Manhattan, my nephew who lived only blocks from the towers. I thought of so many things, mostly I thought of the waste, the shame of anyone thinking their beliefs are a reason for violence.

In the same space where those horrible images put down roots in my brain, I also keep the images of the construction workers digging the hole, putting in the foundation. Day after day hawking all the girls, the thought of joy for the future ... returned to a hole in the ground.

Thanks for this.

LTM said...

mmm mmm mmm... no words.

((biggest hugs)) to you. Well said~ <3

Laila Knight said...

I was at work when this happened. It's a rare act that strikes at the heart of society so deeply it changes them forever. What makes a person be so evil? It still escapes me.

Michael Offutt said...

Ten years goes by in a flash.

M.J. Fifield said...

I was in the middle of a meeting at the school where I used to teach when one of the staff came in to tell us.

Our students didn't have access to any media so we had to tell them what had happened but we couldn't do it for hours afterwards because a few of our students were from NYC and we wanted to wait until we could confirm their families were all right.

Fortunately, they were.

A very lovely post.

Lydia K said...

I'd been to the top of the Towers too, a few times. So strange to think back on those memories.

Thank you for sharing your story, and for so kindly listening to mine.


Anonymous said...

I remember I was working on my thesis in graduate school. I thought the world was ending.

I'm touched by your memories. It was not easy with your job position.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi PK .. I was out and about working with families .. and in the end gave up and came home realising the absolute horror of it all. I must have heard the first announcement on the car radio and couldn't believe it - til I went into the first house and saw what was happening.

You certainly experienced a few things and that chap I sincerely hope has withdrawn his words and understands his errors - possibly unlikely .. I know you'll never know either ..

You have experiences that others do not have - I just watched and have never worked for an airline, nor do I have family or friends in the fire service, ambulance service etc ..

Thanks - it was an interesting read for a very sad time .. Hilary

Liz Fichera said...

It was two hours earlier here in the West. I had just gotten back from a run. I watched the TV in shock. Those images, those people, I'll never forget them.

Deana said...

Oh man PK, you brought me to tears. It doesn't seem to matter where we were our stories are just as emotional as the next. Thanks for sharing yours. That must have been so hard hearing all the up and down emotions that day through your phone calls.
I was working in a high rise in Atlanta, GA at the time and they evacuated our building because no one knew if they were targeting big cities. No one knew anything except we were under attack.

Shari said...

Thank you for sharing your memory. I was busy cleaning and taking care of my one-year old. I didn't normally watch television, but decided to turn it on while I was doing some cleaning. It was a horrifying day.

Catherine Stine said...

Yeah, thanks for sharing your memory. As for me, I was there, in downtown Manhattan, and I was so shaken up, that I wrote a YA novel about it--It's called Refugees. You can check it out as an eBook on amazon etc. My MFA professor said it was too soon to write about it, but obviously, I disagreed. In fact, it was what I had to do.

DM said...

It was the day after we got home from vacation. It is a day we all should remember forever.
As for the idiot on the plane, what a thoughtless jerk.