I have been posting topic updates at the #SMchat site, but I haven’t updated my own blog in a while because it was a crazy summer. However, I can’t let the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11/01 go by without remembering what I was doing when 9/11 changed everything.
On September 11, 2001, I was in my office when one of my coworkers came to get me. She said, “A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.” Little did we know that the first plane crash was only the start of hours and days of uncertainty that has changed so many people’s world forever.
My coworkers and I gathered in the conference room of the advertising agency where I worked to watch on the big screen TV as one horrible image after another filled the screen. Originally people speculated that it was a horrible accident, but when the second plane struck the Towers it became evident that it was an act of terrorism. My boss and several others were scheduled to be on a TV shoot that day and we called them to let them know what was happening. As they headed back to the office, they told us to go home if we felt that’s what we needed to do.
There was so much confusion – cell phones and land lines weren’t working because of the huge volume of calls, no one knew what to expect next and it was increasingly difficult to contact anyone without speaking to them in person – and all I wanted to do was be with my kids. I drove to their school to pick them up and was amazed at how well the teachers and staff were handling this unusual situation.
It was especially remarkable in light of the fact that the husband of my son’s teacher was in the Pentagon that day. Ten years later, I’m still not sure how she dealt with the unexpected dismissal of a classroom of children while waiting to hear from her husband to be able to get in touch with her. (He was fortunately in the other end of the building and able to evacuate without injury and help others get out of the building as well.)
I took the kids home and we sat and watched TV with my Grandmother (who lived with us at the time) as the details continued to be disclosed. The images from those hours are still burned in my mind today.
I finally was able to get in touch with my husband and learn that he was fine. In hindsight, there was no real reason to worry about him but there was so much uncertainty that you didn’t know what to expect.
The weirdest thing about the days immediately following the 9/11 attacks was the lack of air traffic – no planes, no helicopters, etc. – for several days after it happened. You don’t realize how much air traffic noise you hear until it is absent. When there were finally some military planes flying by after a few days, all heads popped up to see if it was another attack.
So many people were impacted by those terrorist attacks, whether they had a friend or loved one in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, or in the Pentagon, or on Flight 93 which made a crash-landing on the fields near Shanksville, PA. Ten years later, or a hundred years later, we will never forget the 2,997 people who lost their lives that day, and we will never forget the changes that have impacted the United States and the world since that fateful day.
Where were you on 9/11? Please feel free to share your stories in the comments below or read stories and share your memories at the 9/11 Memories site created by Deb Carney (aka Loxly): http://911memories.com/share-your-story-about-911-with-us/
Special thanks to Brian Niemann for creating the image on this post and donating the proceeds from its printed image to the Salvation Army. You can find more info on the poster at: http://niemanndesign.com/home/