Where Were You on September 11, 2001?

10603473_10203398334691621_2534099762472040309_nThe “Where you were on September 11th” question always comes to mind to me on this day, and I parallel that with a question I heard often as a child in a different era.  That question was “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?”  At that time, that was considered a national phenomenon, and his death as America viewed it on television, (an instrument of communication still new to that time) a national tragedy.  Because everyone could remember exactly where they were when he was shot, and they were shocked and saddened and mourned the loss of our president.  Republicans, democrats and the like came together.  We actually did have some class about politics back then, at least the general majority did.  A president, whether elected by those or not, was treated with respect. The nation was stunned, and no one ever forgot where they were on that day.

 

I wasn’t born then, so that’s where I was.  As an adult, and after what I consider our “Where were you when Kennedy was shot” moment, I can say for certain I remember every detail as I witnessed the live report and the second plane crashing into the twin tower.  That was 13 years ago and a lifetime for me.  I was a single mom, and my youngest son was 9 years old, sick with fever and I was home from work, praying I wouldn’t get fired because back then single working moms weren’t given any more leeway or understanding than anyone else.

Laying in my bed with him as I tried to keep his fever down, the cartoons were interrupted by “a special report” and as I switched channels there was nothing but the same picture on every channel. I can still see that picture as clear as day.  Two tall buildings, one burning, a white sky, the reporter speaking something I wasn’t hearing because the shock of what I was seeing I was too wrapped up in trying to comprehend, then a plane strangely turning into a building and more smoke. It went all by in slow motion in what I can only describe as an extreme surreal moment.  As we both watched the horror before our eyes, I held him in a tight embrace, tears rolling uncontrollably down my face as I tried hard to keep strong, stay quiet, and not let the fear show through so as to not scare further my sick baby.  I’m not sure how much time passed before the next thought came to my head- but it was only about those I love, as I called my older sons’ school and said that I would be coming immediately to pick him up. After at some point confirming the doctors office would still be keeping our appointment later that day, we arrived our pediatricians office and Jim got a prescription as the diagnosis was an ear infection. I remember talking to the nurse, still, we all didn’t know to what extent the death toll was and all going on, and she told me her son worked in one of those towers. She had been trying to call and hadn’t gotten through. I wonder if she ever saw him again.

We went home and prayed and tried to get through the day, bewildered and in a daze and glued to the events that continued even after that moment to unfold.

That’s where I was on September 11, 2001.  Until the day I no longer live, I will remember every detail of. I imagine I am not alone.


My heart pains and goes out even further this morning as I start to recall the rest of the story. Remembering the other planes, the one that hit the Pentagon and the everyday people flying to their destination knowing not they would be called to heroic action that day. Despite sacrificing their own lives, didn’t let the fourth plane further damage this country. The countless number of heroes and good people that didn’t hesitate to do what it took to help others, running in the the burning towers, and those inside comforting each other though knowing they would die. Their families, their friends, the nurse’s family- who all try to live on today without that person or persons in this world anymore. I wasn’t directly affected by the event, but then again I was.  We all were.

When people knock others down, as I wrote about in my post yesterday, it stands out to us.  One of the first pieces of advice I gave that young blogger was a quote that was passed on to me at exactly a time I needed to hear it, and today, in the remembrance of our generations “Where were you when Kennedy was shot” day, I give you all this quote to remember whether you are religious or not.  Because as I always say, even in the midst of tragedy and destruction and hopelessness, I believe hope and inspiration can always be found, if you dig deep enough in the rubble.

Today we believe God wants us to know that …
there is much more good in this world than bad. Don’t let the media fool you.

There are kind, good-hearted, generous, loving people all over this world. They just don’t get nearly as much attention as the ‘bad guys’. Remember that there is goodness and love all around.

Do you remember where you were on September 11th, 2001?  I’d love to hear about it, as we keep this day alive for the rest of our lives, so please feel free to share in your comments your story too.

Have a great day everyone, love each other, uplift, be kind and think of others.

Laura

 

13 thoughts on “Where Were You on September 11, 2001?

  1. Miriam E. Thompson says:

    I was in college awakened from sleep. I can still see the second plane slam into the second building. I was horrified. It is a scar on all of our hearts. Embrace each day. Make it golden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was in my first year of law school. My roommate awakened me and commanded me to turn on my TV. I did so, by myself, half awake and not remotely comprehending what I was seeing. Later I would attend my classes, which were halfhearted and short as everyone wandered around in visible shock.

    I still remember the quiet of the skies in the many hours afterward. Here in LA, that quiet was eerie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow.. thank you for stopping and sharing that, I can see your experience so vividly and its so comforting. I always want to go to L.A… I see when I read your comment I picture a nighttime city with horns blowing from a view atop of the Hollywood hill sign. I remember that quiet sky too.. we lived over the O’Hare traffic pattern and until then we had planes going overhead about every 15 minutes. That never happens anymore there. I had forgotten that to, so thanks. Have a great day Deborah.

      OH, and as I reread your comment, I got chills about the students wandering in visible shock. I guess because I wasn’t really around too many others that day, so I cannot have that comparison, so its a stark visual.

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  3. I had a similar experience as yours. I was at home that morning. I had a 2 year old and I was 4 months pregnant with my son. My husband called from work and told me to turn on the tv. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I sat and cried as I watched it happen over & over again while hugging my daughter. What I remember though is the one time in my life I felt our country really came together as a whole. It hit home to us all…people stood up for what they believed, people came together, people prayed. In the midst of all the tragedy, our country stood together as one nation under God. We will never forget that day, that is for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Again, I have chills. Wow.. how alone we feel at times yet grateful proven time and again there are so many more of us exactly the same yet uniquely able to contribute to the world our own ways.. as I was just rereading this post (lol, I hope as a fellow blogger you see that as not vein but as a continued affirmation of just what you contribute to the world, at least when you are proud of a piece you shared). Yes, we did come together, we remembered how lucky we are to live in America. I gift even today as I comment I know some who view my blog (thanks to stats) do not possess. Thank you for taking time to share, as I’ve said over and over but really, I do mean. Not only is it support and uplifting to both of us, but it fuels this fire we call writing and helps us continue to exactly define our roles in this world. Right, gf (my “girlfriend” abbreviation to all those on Facebook I hold dear)? I wish you continued success and motivation as you blog on, and note the immeasurable impact you made on my day, and my effort to continue.

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  4. Beth says:

    This answer really dates me! I was in my kitchen cooking for a toddler the day Kennedy was shot. I only had a tiny pink plastic radio on top of our refrigerator, but I did not miss a word. I remember distinctly that the reporter was almost hysterical as he reported each and every shot. He said there were shots from over the knoll (the rise by the underpass or overpass). Consider that for a minute.

    Where was I when 911 hit the news? I was in a classroom full of kids and I got a call from my son-in-law who was travelling out in Texas. He insisted I get to a TV, but of course I could not until my classes were finished that day. I was tutoring about 150 kids at different levels and there was no TV in my room. Kids began to get calls and I knew there had to be something serious going on. We had no TV at home, so I looked up the news on the Internet when I finally got home.

    Just so you know, the last TV program I watched on my own TV was the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. I even woke the kids up to watch it with me and it was at least 5:00 AM where we were. I decided after that there were better things to do in life than watch TV. It was not the wedding or the people. It was what I had left in my hands to show for my time that made me decide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too, was lucky enough to be woken by my mom to run across the street in the middle of the night to watch that amazing event, however much I dislike that Prince. As said, your picture of that moment brings a warmth comfort to an old soul, so thank you for sharing. In my rush to finish because I am called to grandmaville, if I missed anything I apologize. When her head hits the pillow, know that I will be drinking in this knowledge, your links, especially that one email bio, once more tonight, if I am so lucky

      Liked by 1 person

    • Also, I was thinking about this too tonight even though I swore I was going to try not thinking for a little while, I don’t know if you ever read or heard of a newer publication by Stephen King. I know, everyone sees that name and think HORROR. Ironically, I’m not by nature a horror lover. When you look past the word, you find little small towns with quirky people, country roads and old signs creaking in the wind.. for starters. I honestly am almost eager now to write a piece to submit to him after at the end of the book I referenced, “On Writing”, in my latest article, where at the end of the book he invited readers to submit to him pieces of our writing for his feedback as a loving gift back to us writers. –I cannot tell you how many crumbled pieces of paper I trashed attempting that in my life before and finally giving up.

      But moving on to the point. So he wrote a book called 11-22-63. In it, I can now say to you that although I wasn’t born then, and not just because of the book, but of the knowledge I further gained of that event, I can hear your pink radio and exactly how frantic that reporter sounded. The jazzy song that might of been playing.. the sound of the interruption from it, your apron, the”icebox,” the pictures in your head as you stood perfectly still as you listened to the reporter speak about “shots from the knoll,” the kaos and panic that that event made the world then feel. Also though as a child born in 1968 who did apparently absorb it all, how deeply it resonated with everyone and stayed in their brain. The book tells of the experiences of a man offered the opportunity to go back in time, but only to that date.. if I’m not confused, it was a year before it happened. He lives one year with only the mission to prevent that tragedy, and despite the failures over and over his continued attempts, the outcome and the lessons learned. I do agree that television can be mind numbing and a life wasted. But as I finally do what I was meant to, in every word I write and thought I convey, as I tried to express in that post of late, even the things I watched on television, good bad and mind numbing, helped me get to the stark clarity I’m at today. There was a reason I watched things, it isn’t a coincidence. Even if its hard for you to see, and sage advice, for some of us, what I learned I can now relate back to this socially mediated world on a level they can understand, so the messages, like the vision of your past, don’t get lost. Again as I mentioned in our web of excited and confused inspired conversations since we found ourselves not coincidentally kindred spirits, I’ve had no time to tune into some of my favorite shows. However, knowing better than you may, today I can find whatever shows I love that I’m missing available to me when I need the time to unwind and find myself in dire need of being lost in a post apocalyptic world where people like you and I battle zombies, or vampires or some other thing that I appeal to and dearly love, at my convenience, and still change the world too. 😉

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      • Oh. And P.S. that handsome man with the gun, my personal Facebook cover page, is just one of those everyday people lost from the world we know now, fighting for he and his son to survive in that zombie laden world. TV has evolved, and many visual stories told today are at the level of intelligence that made viewers such as yourself tune out. Believe or not, there are lessons everywhere, and you can’t limit your thinking, ever. As you will learn once I post my interview with that 92 year old woman (I’ve scheduled it for Sept 26th, just because I so want to inspire you) she will tell you that she never tells herself she’s old. That’s what she told me when I asked her her secret. I’ll give you no more and you’ll have to wait to find out… sorry. 🙂

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Any questions, perspective, and comments are warmly welcomed.. I swear! Good and bad, its about growing and learning and getting better. I'd love to hear your thoughts, anytime. ;)

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