Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

I just wanted to use this as an opportunity to reflect on September 11th, 2001. I didn't know anyone who died that day; I don't even know someone who knows someone who died that day. I do know that I was really affected. Not so much on a terrorist level but on a level that this great, horrific event happened IN MY LIFETIME. It was probably the first major monumental history event that happened since I became an adult. The reaction and the days that followed made me Proud to be an American.

Where were you? Somehow on my drive into work that morning I missed the announcement that the first tower had been hit. It wasn't until about 8:10 central time that I heard about it. I can tell you that the first person that I talked to about it was my co-worker Steve. I turned my head from my cubicle into his office and we were all in shock but we made eye contact. At the same time we both said, Terrorists. Our company set up a television in our break room so that people could watch the coverage if they wished. Our phones stopped ringing; we only had a few calls that entire day. The world stood still.

I remember talking to my Husband (then fiance; as we were scheduled to get married on October 27th of that year and go on our honeymoon) and telling him that he needed to get over to Eder Flag Company to buy us a new flag to fly. It was only a few minutes from his office and he promised to go at lunchtime. By lunchtime when he went they were almost sold out of flags, but he got one.

I remember running to Jo-Ann's after work that night to buy red, white and blue ribbons so that we could take the American Flag pins that Mike had bought at the flag store and put the ribbons behind our pins. I remember them being out of blue ribbon already. I realized I had a stock pile of navy ribbon in my wedding stash since our colors were navy and silver. I used Navy ribbons instead of Royal Blue.

I remember sitting on our balcony that night, talking about the days events with our neighbors Mike and Lynn. Lynn was 8 months pregnant at the time and wondering what our world was coming to.

I remember the candles that we were all asked to go outside and light. I remember other neighbors coming outside. People we never talked to, now all talking together. We had candles for the centerpieces for our wedding. 12 hour white votives. I broke them out and started passing them to neighbors; everyone had lit candles on their porches; one for everyone who lived there.

I remember Mike being so concerned about putting a spot lite on our flag so that it could fly all night. He bought a spot lite with a clip that could clip onto our balcony and shine on our flag. We had it on one of those photo eyes so it would always light when it got dark.

I remember wondering when planes would fly again and if it would be best to call off our wedding.

I remember wondering if Mike could be drafted.

A few months later I was in a quilt shop and saw a flag pattern with a verse embroidered on it. The pattern was sold out so I came home, wrote down what I could remember from the verse and added a few of my own things. I decided on the size and I appliqued the 50 stars. I had it finished for the 1st anniversary of this horrible tragedy.

It reads: America the Beautiful. Under Attack. September 11th, 2001. DC, NYC & PA. Planes Crashed, Buildings Exploded, Burned and Crumbled. Heros Born - Thousands Died. A Grieving Nation Rises Above the Rubble to Rebuild. Proud to Be an American. United We Stand. God Bless America. And our Flag was Still There....

Where were You?


Michelle said...

It was Louie and I's 26th anniversary, and we were home, on vacation. I was at my computer and he was watching tv when we heard the news. We didn't get much done that day, as we kept watching tv and were in shock.

Today and everyday is a wonderful opportunity to tell those we love, that we love them, and how important they are to us. We never know, in life, when things will change. Things can happen in an instant to change our lives forever. Friendship is a special Gift that God gives...it is no coincidence. Thanks for being my friend. I cherish the times we talk, email,and get to visit.
You are just another Gift God gave to me.

To all my blogger friends, I cherish you.

Love, Michelle

Nancy-Rose said...

I was in a pharmacy picking up a vial of adrenalin so I could start doing TB skin testing on my patients when I heard about the disaster on the radio news.

I felf completely stunned, and ran on automatic pilot for the rest of the day, going from patient's room to patient's room.

When I got home, I spent the next two days in front of the TV, weeping. The world certainly had stopped turning.

Nancy said...

I was a middle school librarian. The first person I heard about it from was my principal who came into the library and told me to turn on the TV. I set up the TV in the library for the rest of the day for anyone, or any class, to come in to see if they did not have a TV in their classroom. Hard to explain and comfort middle schoolers when I could barely comprehend it myself. Later I thought that some parents might not have wanted their kids to be seeing it all on TV, but that was just our first reaction. As a parent I immediately wanted to check on all my kids - at that time they were in Cambridge, near Boston, Las Vegas, and two in the Atlanta area - all major cities, which was not comforting.

Debi said...

I was sitting at my desk in downtown Milwaukee listing to Dave and Carole on the radio. I heard Carole say that a plane had hit the north tower...I immediatley went to CNN for all the news.

teresa said...

I was home and I remember someone called on the phone to tell me what happened, I thought they were joking at first and as I watched the TV the first tower fell and I stood there in disbelief and shock and then I Cried . I remember at 12:00 noon i made huge red white and blue ribbons and hung them on our driveway entrance, as i was doing that people driving by slowed down and gave a sad wave to me. By 1:00 in the afternoon, there were no cars on road, no sounds of airplanes, no sound of children playing, It was an awful stillness I will never forget.

Maureen said...

I was working at Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Wisconsin in Human Resources and the girl in the office next to me had the radio on. She called me to her office and asked if I had heard the news about the towers. I just stood there and listened to the radio. We didn't have access to a TV that day but we kept the radio on all day and checked on what was happening.


Anonymous said...

Hey Jen, I was at work sitting with a client when I heard it come over the radio. As you can guess the meeting ended very quickly. I cleared my schedule for the rest of the day. We were all in shock. Of course, Hunter wasn't yet, but I ran to the school to pick up Andrew. All of the kids were terrified. I brought him back to work with me. Richard called to make sure that I had picked Andrew up because he was about 3 hours away. We just sat there glued to the radio all day.

Cindy (aka Peony the House Elf) said...

I was at home that day due to my asthma. When Grandma told me what had happened I thought she was kidding me until we both sat down and were glued to the TV. I still all these years later can't believe that this happened in our country.