Where Were You When The World Changed?

From My Roof In Brooklyn
Image by RWhitesell via Flickr

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on September 11, 2001, I was sleeping. Mom called me frantic, asking “are they going to call you up?”. I had no idea what she was talking about because I had been asleep after a long night working. She told me to turn the television on, and I asked what channel. I heard her say softly “It doesn't mater, its on every channel.” So I turned on the television, and never turned it off for about four days.

I will forever have those tragic days, and shocking images embedded into my mind. I remember thinking "Oh My God" when the news said that over 25,000 people worked in the World Trade Center, thankfully so many were late. I was completely shocked when the towers fell. I was not very relieved many weeks later when the toll was announced as 2,974, in New York, The Pentagon, and that remote field in Pennsylvania. So many people affected in ways that were and still are unimaginable.

I was always interested in the Pearl Harbor attacks, and dutifully watched the History Channel anytime there was a show on about it. That morning, 9 - 11 - 2001, I recalled Admiral Yamamoto's thoughts after the attacks "I fear we have only wakened a sleeping giant". I was hoping the terrorists were thinking and worrying the same thing. There was one major difference between the two that stood out to me, Pearl Harbor was a military base, The World Trade Center was a civilian work place. I kept thinking to myself "How can the fools justify such an attack?".

I know I will forever remember that day, and the emotions that were sent coursing through me. Who would have ever believed that the Twin Towers would be evanescent. So many people lost loved ones, and all of our lives were changed by the acts of extremists. I shall forever honor and respect those that gave all, and those that are continuing the struggle to rid the world of terrorism in many different ways.
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maggie's mind said...

I spent my day remembering not to forget, in between having to work and feeling far too distracted by my mind reaching back 7 years. I was watching the news coverage of the first plane when the second came from the side of the screen, and it became so apparent so immediately that this was going to change everything forever.

I did a tribute to Jean D Roger on my blog as part of the 2996 Project to remember those we lost. I can't even get my mind around how very many people with hopes and hobbies and loved ones that really is. Unbelievable, even 7 years later.

Thank you for sharing this. I needed to read it today.

tashabud said...

I was home and was watching the news when the image of the tower being on fire and then saw the second plane hit the other building. I called my husband at work and my hands were shaking. And there was a lot of comotions in the media. Total chaos after that.

After that, the whole nation cried to bomb the whole Middle East. But look now, the very ones who couldn't wait for the government to bomb a country, any country in retalliation, are now saying that we're wrong in going to Iraq, where some of the Alqaeda's were and are taking refuge.

forsythia said...

I wrote about my memories of 9/11 in my lifeinmerlin blog. Last night, when I came home from choir practice, my husband was watching the History Channel. I had to turn away. The sight of those people jumping/falling from the burning buildings was too painful.

Jena Isle said...

The world was watching in horror during those times. It was devastating for everyone to know that America - superpower and prime "defender" of democracy was the subject of such horrendous attacks. We couldn't believe it and we cry and pray for the victims. It will always be a reminder for us that terrorism is evil.

Thanks for sharing.

Btw I have linked your Ivy post to her picture at my blog Little Children

I can't post a whole article as I can't write well about it.

God bless

Eric S. said...

Maggie, I read your tribute. It was very thorough and heart felt. Jean sounded like a wonderful person. I am going to have to pay attention next year, I was not even aware of that project.

Tasha, So many of us were affected by the sites and sounds we all heard on television. It was so hard to absorb the reality of it. As to fighting terrorism, I think unfortunately that fight will continue for some time.

Forsythia, I read you post, very good. I can't imagine what it was like for you being in a government building in Washington that day.

Jena, Horror and shock, are the two terms that best describe it for me. I think I will always think of all those souls lost that day, and their families.

Thanks for the link to Ivy's story. I will be posting an update later, there have been some offers of help for her.

Kel said...

I had trouble opening this site for a few days, and at first couple of trys tonight . . . but finally it connected. Your post was a memory trigger for me.

As was the case with Maggie and Tasha, I too was watching the news on TV when the second place came in from the side. I knew then, with a dreadful, gut wrenching certainty, that "we" were under attack.

I was, at hearing of the first plane's impact on the radio news as my wake-up alarm went off, and then watching in horror, my breakfast forgotten . . . completely flattened, emotionally hamstrung, unable to focus on preparing for work.

But the realization, after the second plane hit, that it was "war," no simple, horrible "accident" ~ that we were UNDER ATTACK, switched my emotional center point from empathic horror to a searingly cold anger.

Suddenly I knew what my responsibility as a citizen was, as a mother and role model . . . it was to dress well, get my son to school, and myself to work. I'd be damned if whoever it was that was attacking us was going to have ANY further impact in the US, even such small impact as causing MY family to stay at home sobbing and hopeless.

We had engineers (friends) on assignment around the world that might be in danger (might not even know yet what had happened), and co-workers that never failed to turn to me for guidance when things got tough. I needed to get in to the office and get to work. And if my government called on me, or my community, by gawd I'd take up arms too if need be. In fact I desperately wanted something, anything, to get my fists on. To pound into the ground, to grind to defeat.

I heard about the Pentagon attack and Flight 93 on my commute over the mountain and into Walnut Creek. Three, perhaps four, times I had to pull over to the side of the road to wait until my tears, brought on by some new horror from the radio, had subsided enough that I could see to drive.

By the time I got in to the office the FAA had pulled off what remains to date the single most impressive avionics acheivement in our modern world's history: The complete grounding, safely, of all air traffic in the USA and rerouting of all incoming foreign flights. Our various engineering teams around the world would be frozen where they were for 4 or more days, but would, eventually, all arrive home safe.

I shall never, ever, forget how touched I was by the outpouring of emotional support from people around the world that we witnessed on the TV over the course of the following days.

And I shall never, ever, forgive the Bush administration for sqaundering that support, and polluting that deep pool of fellowship by initiating the war in Iraq.

I cannot yet bring myself to watch any of the movies or TV dramas that have been done about that day. The pain, and caustic anger, are far too close to the surface still.

Eric S. said...

Kel, I know what you mean by your duty was to go to work and take your kids to school. I had the wrecker company then, and "work" disappeared. Work being my personal escape, and then none to be had, left me to sit and contemplate the meaning of those events.

I still have not figured them out, and probably never will. I don't think many "sane" people would be able to make any sense of it.

I too was willing to take up arms, or do what ever was necessary or requested. I will always remember the return of the flag. It's so sad that it took such an incident to bring that about.

I can also remember tearing up over the response and outpouring of support from all over the world. I remember checking some sites on line, and finding pictures of flowers l;aid out before the US Embassies all over the world.

I have seen a few of the movies, and had a hard time sitting through them. I guess I'm just a big baby when it comes to such things.

Kel said...

No, no, not a big baby ~ A warm, and emphatic gentleman.

soulMerlin said...

I was in a hotel room in Plymouth, having a meeting preparing for the opening night of "Whistle Down the Wind". We all stopped and watched in silence.

Like Kel, we decided to go on with everything ~ even though we and the audience that evening, were devastated.

When the character 'Ed' in the play, turned to 'Swallow' the young girl and said...

"There's sick things happen in the world Swallow. Something foul and ugly blows in - blows in without warning"

I don't know how the actor managed to get the lines out, he was as distraught as everyone else was that day. His next line gave some hope

"But be rest assured the world will find a way of dealing with it."

The words from the stage gave some hope, but I feel it will be many years before the hurt fades.

thank you for your tribute.


Eric S. said...

Henry, That's great, I love how the play you were doing seemed to help everybody. It was such a shocking day for everyone.

Thanks for your story.


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