Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday - Where Were You On 9/11

When I came up with the idea for this post it wasn't because I had some great, compelling "Where were you on 9/11 story", but the thought behind it was more that I wanted other people to share something that they might not have shared otherwise and I always love reading different people's experiences surrounding common events.

On September 11th I often talk to my students about why the day is significant and such and it blows my mind every year that the kids I teach have no memory of or weren't even alive during such a significant event. 

On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, I was a High School senior and had just gone to my early morning marching band rehearsal.  After rehearsal, we were changing in the locker room when a friend of mine came in and told us that there had been a plane crash.  She lived right by the school and so she always ran home to shower and change while the rest of us took care of that at school and she had seen the news.  It didn't really register with all of us (we were too busy fixing our hair and getting ready for class), but when I walked into AP English first period our teacher had the live news on and it was then that I realized that something huge had happened. 

We put our reading packets and binders away, she turned off the lights and as we were watching live we watched the second plane crash into the tower.  It was in that moment that I knew that we were watching something that was going to change life forever.  We were young and naive and the thought of a terrorist attack hadn't even crossed my mind until the broadcaster suggested it.  I remember the bell ringing and stepping out into the hallway and it was eerily quiet.  The halls were packed, but no one knew what to say. 

My next period class was in the band hall and again, we sat in the dark and watched the live coverage as both towers fell and the other two flights crashed.  It was unbelievable. 

After band I was supposed to head to the hospital to do a rotation in the ER (I was part of a clinical rotation program where I shadowed physicians), but when I got there they weren't letting anyone in except for emergency patients and official staff.  I didn't really know what to do since I didn't have to go back to school, so I headed to the shop that I worked at on the downtown square.  The shop owner and the girl who worked during the week had the door locked and they were watching the coverage on a teeny TV in the back.  I let myself in and watched with them for a while.  I remember everything feeling so confusing and unknown.  We watched and cried as we stared in disbelief at dust covered people walking down the streets in Manhattan and replays of the planes crashing and towers falling.  We closed up the store and I drove home.  My dad was working in his home office and I remember that when I got home he had no clue what was happening.  He had been on a conference call and this was pre-Facebook and all of that and after I gave him a synopsis of what I knew, he and I sat on the couch and watched for the rest of the day. 

The only break we took from watching news reports, was to go wait at the gas station to fill up our cars with gas (anyone else do this???).  I don't think I've ever watched so much news.  Ever.

Dave and I visited New York in 2004 and had a chance to visit Ground Zero.  Seeing the site in person was incredible and humbling.  It was a huge hole and they were still removing debris. 

I had an opportunity to go back to NYC in 2011 when I chaperoned our Senior Trip and stood in absolute awe of the National Memorial.


 




As we head into the anniversary of 2001, I invite you to join me in praying for the families who lost a loved one on the date, during the recovery or now, years later as a result of being involved in clean up and rescue.

I'm looking forward to visiting the links and read about where you were on 9/11.

Back tomorrow with a weekend recap and (hopefully!) a fun craft project for Thursday.

   
   
 

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting the link-up! You chose some great topics. I love getting to hear these things about other bloggers.

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    1. Me too! I love stretching myself for blog topics as well.

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  2. I'm so glad you added this one! It's so important to reflect on that day.

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  3. I was a college student, and didn't have a tv or internet connection in my dorm room. As I was getting ready that morning I wanted to pray but didn't have anything pressing on my mind, so I asked God what I should pray for. I thiught to pray for the president. I immediately questioned that bc I am not political at all and even though I knew Christians should pray for our leaders, it felt kind of cliche an I wasn't in the habit of it. Soon after that a friend down the hall came to my room and told me what had happened. We went to her room and watched the news on her little tv. Again, I'm not political at all, but it was such a comfort to me that day to know that our nation was on the heart of God and that He cared about our president.

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    1. WOW! Chill bumps! What a cool story about you feeling led to pray for the president.

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  4. I don't have a blog but I will never forget 9/11. My twin sons were 2 months old and the rest of my children were in school. I was nursing one, bottle feeding the other watching Good Morning America when they announced the first attack. Like you, Andrea, ( although I was quite a bit older) I was very naive and thought it was an accident. Sadly, as the day went in realization came that it was not. It was such a gorgeous day here in the northeast. Sunny, blue, cloudless skies. I will always remember the very helpless feeling of watching such a terrible senseless tragedy and I will talk about it with those twin boys who have no recollection of the event. May we never forget.

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    1. What an interesting memory about it being a gorgeous day, but when you mentioned it, I remember that as well. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  5. I was the same age or stage of life as all of you when 9/11 happened. I had been in an 8 o'clock Sociology class that morning and at the end of class someone who had come in late said that a plane had hit one of the twin towers. I went to the rest of my classes (I had them all day) and all were cancelled but we were welcome to watch the TV coverage. So that's what we all did and I did see the second tower fall. I wasn't really with anyone I knew so I didn't really know what to think and like you, I had never heard of terrorists before either. It was such a sad day and everything changed. I just always remember what a beautiful morning that day was both in NYC and where I lived. It was just a regular day.

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    1. So sad to think that our kids will never be as "naive" as we were. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  6. I was 30 years old and pregnant with my second child. I lived in Las Vegas at the time and was woken up by the phone from my sister-in-law (we originally are from the DC area so she was on east coast time) asking where her brother was. In my sleepy state, all I could remember thinking was why is she asking me this at 6 in the morning and I said he was flying with the AF in another state. She told me to turn on the TV. Eeriest thing was hearing complete silence outside....every day, AF planes were always flying overhead, that day not a sound to be heard.

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    1. Wow. That would have been super eeery. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. No doubt everything changed that day. I remember being at school, I was in 6th grade. I was in the computer center and a teacher told us what had just happened, I opened Yahoo and read a bit about it but couldn't understand it. It wasn't until I got home to the longest news marathon of my life. The reporters were shocked, they didn't know what to say. It was shocking to see the people jumping from windows at that age. I hope that this experience help us realize how important it is to mantain peace.

    Natalia | Lindifique

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  8. I was a junior in high school. Being from CA it was early morning and I was getting ready for school. My grandmother was staying with me as my mom was supposed to by flying home from CO that day. She ended up stranded for days. I remember my aunt called and said wake up your grandmother quickly. I did and we sat and watched it live on the news. My grandmother encouraged me to get in my car and go to school. When I arrived all the homerooms had notes on the door to meet in the gym. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to attend a Christian high school. The entire school gathered in gym that morning and prayed. Prayed for the responders, prayed for those trapped, prayed for families, prayed for our nation, prayed for strength.

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    1. Love that you got to pray as a school. What an amazing experience. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  9. I was in Manhattan on September 11, 2001. I lived and worked on the Upper West Side, so fortunately, I was far from Ground Zero. I arrived at work that morning around 9am, and of course the phones were ringing off the hook with everyone's friends and families trying to call in and check on their loved ones. So within minutes I found out what was going on, and I just remember feeling completely helpless and obviously worried about all of my friends who also lived and worked downtown. I tried calling everyone and anyone, but by 10am, all of the cell lines across the region were jammed and I couldn't make or receive any calls. At some point later in the day, I was finally able to get a signal on my phone and call my family members to let them know that I was OK.

    A few hours later, when I walked out of my office to go home, I was stunned by what I saw on the streets--hundreds of dust-covered people all walking north on Broadway. I remember feeling a bit guilty that I was walking home without a speck of dust on my clothes. It was certainly a day I will never forget, and I feel so tremendously blessed that I did not lose any loved ones that horrific day.

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    1. I can't imagine how helpless you must have felt without being able to call family and friends. So thankful that you and your family were safe! Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!

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  10. Just added my link! This is near & dear to my heart. I had the opportunity to go volunteer at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. It changed my life forever. Thanks for including this topic!

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    1. I can't wait to go read your post! Thanks for linking up, Mel!

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  11. I live outside of DC and was working downtown near the Capitol at the time. I was driving to work when I heard the news. My mother sometimes worked in an office at the WTC, so I immediately panicked until I realized she was home that day to celebrate my dad's birthday. By the time I arrived at the parking garage near work, there were reports of the plane crash at the Pentagon and the missing plane that they feared was either headed to the Capitol or the White House. I wasn't sure if I should go to work or turn around and head back home. I ran the three blocks to my office, and as soon as I got there the first tower collapsed. My first instinct was to call my family and check on my children, but all the lines were jammed. I was so relieved when I was finally able to get in touch with everyone. We all stood around in disbelief and watched the coverage in our conference room until we were told we could go home. The subways were packed with people so I ended up driving some of my colleagues home. The roads out of DC were gridlock, and it took us hours to get home. We all sat in silence and listened to the news on the radio. I didn't want my children watching the coverage so as they played outside that afternoon, I remember thinking how odd it was to not see or hear planes (other than fighter jets) flying over my house. The entire day was just surreal and never will forget it. A few days later, I found out I was pregnant with my third child. It was a reminder that no matter how frightening and uncertain things get, life goes on. It seems like only yesterday, but that baby is now 13-years old.

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    1. I can't imagine how awful it was to not be able to get in touch with your family and I love the perspective/reminder you gained finding out you were pregnant. Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

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  12. I was a senior in high school too. I was in study hall when the plane hit the 2nd tower and both towers fall - we were watching it on TV too...I can still remember almost everything about that day. I remember the class room I was in. I remember not going to lunch, and getting permission to watch the TV in the math room. My dad had flown to NYC on Monday that week for a business trip and I was so worried about him all day - he couldn't get a call or e-mail out to us until the afternoon to let us know he was ok. And he couldn't get a flight home to MN for over a week after. Even all these years later it is still hard to believe it happened. Your pictures of ground zero and the memorial are beautiful. I hope to visit there some day too.

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    1. Thanks, Veronica! You should definitely make the trip one day - it's amazing. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  13. I was in 2nd grade when 9/11 happened. I remember about 7 or so kids left class earlier because their parents came to pick them up. The whole day I was wondering what was going on. It wasn't until I got home and saw the news I realized something bad happened.

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    1. So interesting to hear your perspective since you were so young when it happened. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  14. I was starting orientation for my first job out of college. The training was in Arlington, VA about a mile from the Pentagon. We had started early and so I don't recall hearing news of the planes hitting in NYC (but it's possible we had but were just unsure what had happened) but what I remember as if it happened yesterday is the sound and powerful shake of the building as the plane went by just before it hit the Pentagon. It's a moment I will never forget...I've lived in DC/Arlington since then and am afraid EVERY time I hear a low flying plane.

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    1. I have goosebumps! What a surreal experience. Thanks so much for sharing!

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