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Posts: 7,476
Reply with quote  #1 

Wild Jan has a post over on BCO about the anniversary of 9/11 coming up. I would really like to have one here.

As some of you know, I was in downtown Manhattan that morning. The first plane flew over my head so low and so loud it took my  breath away.

I was also newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

A lot of things happened that morning, and I would love to share them with you if you all want to discuss the day that changed America forever.




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Reply with quote  #2 
I also replied on BCO the experience I had that terrible day.  Gina, I would be very interested to hear what you have to say.  One thing I learned as I am back in the classroom (I had taken a couple of years off when myyoungest was born) is how you respond will affect the children.  My dd is extremely sensitive (sometimes insensitive as well) and the teachers at her school played the replays that were on the news all day at school.  It was very disturbing to her.  She was 13, old enough to understand it was bad, but not really able to process it, were any of us? 
I pray another tragedy like this never happens, but if it does, please be careful around children.  We may find something needed in watching it over and over again, but kids need our reassurances that they are going to be ok.  I don't mean to keep them in the dark, but once they've experienced the tragedy, they really don't need to see it again.  Explain what happened to them, and let them ask questions.  Don't beat it to death!
Let's pray for all the families of those who were affected 6 years ago.


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Reply with quote  #3 
Sheri, I know what you mean about censoring some of what was coming at the children that awful day.

It was a bit harder here, because so many dads did not come home that day. We are very close to the city and most people take the train in. The parking lots at the train stations bore the mark of who was not coming home by the unclaimed cars that remained parked for the rest of that week.

There were also those flyers up with pictures of missing people... "Have you seen----- worked on the 87th floor of Tower One." Those still haunt me.

I lost five friends that day. One was the husband of a girl I went to school with. They have two little kids.

When I was there it was chaos. I heard the plane and stepped into the building where my doctor was. The word spread fast and a guard came into the waiting room out of nowhere and said that the city was under attack and we were in "lockdown" and no one could leave. That was all I had to hear.

As soon as he left the room I went down the emergency stairs and out onto the street to look for my dad. We had driven in together. I saw him walking up the sidewalk and he grabbed my arm and started walking me to the parking garage. I told him the city was in lockdown but he kept going.

We worked our way all the way uptown and got to the Triborough bridge right before they closed it. All the other exits and entrances to the city were being blocked and closed. There were fighter jets overhead and the radio was reporting that there were eight unaccounted for planes and the city was going to be hit again. We were the ONLY people on the bridge. We stopped the car and looked to our right and saw the buildings smoldering and this huge cloud of smoke was hovering over it.  It was the most horrible thing  you could imagine.

My dad was in the army and he kept looking up in the sky. He said we had to get off that bridge. We really did not know what was going to happen next.

My dad lives in Connecticut and I live on Long Island. But since I was just diagnosed, my dad didn't want me driving into the city by myself. So we made a deal, we would meet at LaGuardia airport. I would park in short term parking and he would take me in from there. That way he didn't have to drive all the way to my house. So now, he had to drive me back to the airport to get my car. All the airports were shut down. So he dropped me at the entrance and then tried to get back home to Connecticut. I got my car and there were men there with really big guns. I don't know what kind, but they looked like machine guns. I tried to pay for my parking and they looked at me as if I was insane.

When I got on the highway ALL traffic heading into Manhattan was completely stopped. There were cars EVERYWHERE. But the direction I was going in had not one car on it.  So I could drive with no problem. I think what I saw next was what filled me with the most pride and HOPE that we would make it through whatever the nation and New York had to go through.

In the emergency lane of the inbound side, passing all the stopped cars trying to get to NYC, were ambulances and firetrucks from every volunteer fire department on Long Island. There were earth movers and big construction trucks. ALL were heading to Ground Zero to help. And they kept coming one after another after another and jaded New Yorkers who normally would have been homicidal if stuck in such a traffic jam in the past, were hanging out their windows and cheering and waving and blowing their horns and were giving every one of those trucks a hero's welcome and a blessing as they passed to go INTO a city that was under attack and on fire.

It was an amazing thing. I had to pull over because I was so overcome. Then I started cheering them myself.

A lot of moms, dad, sons and daughters and sisters and brothers and friends didn't come home that day. But I have never seen us more united than we were in those days following the attacks.  The church services and memorials all had as their last hymn The Battle Hymn of the Republic and EVERYONE sang loud and clear.

It was a very surreal time to be diagnosed with BC. It seemed like the whole world was falling apart. But  I found my strength to fight that day. I saw I had to fight with everything I had because I was given a chance to fight. The people who died that day were not.

I will never forget.




Goddess Forever
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Reply with quote  #4 

Gina - thank you for sharing your story. It is very touching.  Normally it would have made me cry, but on this darn Effexor, I can't cry.  I remember that morning quite well.  I leave for work around 7am when Good Morning America is coming on and I remember seeing the plane fly into the twin tower (but now I don't remember if it was the first or second plan.  I can't even imagine being in Lower Manhattan at that time.  Karen


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Reply with quote  #5 

All of these stories are so amazing! I thought when I read your story,Gina, how moved I was. It felt just like when you shared one of your stories about a surgery. This was maybe summer of '06;perhaps and was written to Fumi  as she was having a real struggle with her treatments. However,your account of  New York City that 9.11.2001, just really gave me chills. Your recall of that day with such vivid details is so interesting as I had wondered how it was to be near Ground Zero.

I,too,was teaching and maybe felt similar feelings to what Sheri described. The assistant principal came around with a typed note telling us brief details of the twin towers going down.It was like maybe 9:30AM;a Tuesday,if I am not mistaken. It was a beautiful,Carolina  sky-blue day with no humidity--just such clear skies. That I remember as it was such a startling contrast to what was really happening elsewhere.

Then,came the next note...the plane in PA and then news of the Pentagon...may have my sequencing off as to which was first. We just seemed to say what else? Is this war? Lots of frightened adults....yet,nothing like what you are describing,Gina. I do not want to diminish what was going on. We were trying to piece the details together and were told not to access the media if children were present.

We were specifically told to carry on like a "normal"day and not turn on any television stations. It was like something from a horrible movie and the announcers were telling details like you were describing,Gina. We were relying on each other as most people had limited access.  News of the PA plane crash and the Pentagon bombing,..the President being sent to the Midwest. It was just like some of the movies I had seen with Harrison Ford...only this was REAL time. No one could say that it was just "Air Force One" being  Hollywoodized! Similar to that old movie about stop the world I want to get off--not trivializing it,just surreal and a helpless feeling for those we were seeing/hearing about in other places of the US.

We dragged through the day;had  a room set aside and counselors made  available should the staff feel too overwhelmed or need a break. Parents could come and get their children and some did;although,we did not announce why the parents came. Apparently,there must have been some local news announcement as there was such uncertainty everywhere.We still did not tell the children what was happening and it was difficult to focus on teaching;we did go on as the world was doing that day. Although,it was so frightening and depressing with such heaviness in our hearts.

I had watched the tragedy of President John F.Kennedy's assassination footage    many times and his funeral on TV;live as there was no school that funeral day. I had lost high school friends who were killed in Vietnam as well as some of our teachers. Also,I was home the day "The Challenger" tragedy happened and saw that live on TV. There had been sad events,I do not mean to diminish any of them as I was younger and more naive,then. However,nothing was like this horrible day and the maelstrom that ensued.

Our country changed forever that day and your description shares such insight as to the machinations occuring that unforgettable day! What a marvelous writer to share these recollections,Gina. As Ernest Hemingway wrote..."courage is grace under pressure." You certainly exemplify this in all you do.

Life, as we knew it,shifted dramatically for all of us that day and I will never forget those brave people who sacrificed their lives. For all of those who never went home that afternoon,as I was fortunate to do so,this is in memory and humble recognition. My thanks for your indulgence in allowing me to share my feelings.



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Afghan Goddess
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Reply with quote  #6 
Gina, thank you for sharing your story.  I can't imagine being in the area when the planes hit...

I had just returned home from bring my youngest daughter to high school (her school was 30 minutes away).    I saw the first plane report....then saw the second plane hit.....My husband said "we are under attack....this is not an accident".    I knelt on the side of my bed, with rosary in hand, to pray for all who were trapped in the building...for all the rescue personnel...for everyone.....the only thing I could think of was PRAYER.....

The 9-11 attack brought the world to a halt.....and yes, Gina, I also cheered all the rescue personnel as I watched the television news.  The rescue personnel, and all volunteers, showed what America is really about - helping your fellow brethern in times of need.


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Goddess Forever
Posts: 274
Reply with quote  #8 

On that faithful day, hubby and I were getting ready for work.....yes I really did have a job and was a productive citizen boys were getting ready for school. We did not have tv hooked up at the time. Had a motor home that we were renting to a guy that hubby used to work with. He did have tv. He knocked on the door and said, "you have got to come watch this. A plane just hit the world trade center. So we all crowded aroung his little bitty tv and watched in horror as the second plane hit. Hubby and renter went to work, boys went to school. I stayed glued to the tv and watched as the towers fell. I remember how I felt, but I can't describe it. Terror and shock and surprise and more terror.
Went to work. Our normal everyday morning meeting consisted of the store manager (muslim by the way) told us we were not to discuss the mornings events with customers. We were to go about our day as if nothing had happened. Manager hooked up a tv in the break room. Throughout the day the room was filled with employees not doing their jobs. I watched as the Pentagon was hit. I watched as the third plane went down. There is no doubt in my mind that plane was headed for the White House. I watched as the news came out that it was a terrorist attack by radical muslims. I watched as our manager (who was one of the sweetest, gentlest men on the planet) stood boldy and absorbed without retaliation verbal attacks from complete strangers.
I could do nothing else but watch.
I remember the days of no planes flying over head. That was very strange. I remember the flags flying in every yard. I remember the churches being packed. I remember crying when both my boys decided they wanted to join the military.
My memories have faded, but will never go away.
Peter you are correct. It was a day that changed not only America but the entire world forever.

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Reply with quote  #9 
Shirley you gave me goose bumps.  Its amazing how much you forget yet remember when it is mentioned in a post.  I had totally forgotten what it was like to go past the airport in Birmingham and see all the planes on the ground. 


Posts: 1,940
Reply with quote  #10 
On that day 9.11 Like others described ,was a beautiful
day in Ohio, and I too found it so surreal that such a horrible thing
was happening .

I was getting ready for work and had turned on the Television to
see the first tower on fire. I was so shocked and thought it was a
terrible accident. As I drank my coffee and listened to what the reporters
were saying  I saw another plane coming toward the towers for a split second I thought maybe it was some kind of news plane taking photos
as the jet looked small compared to the massive size of the Towers.
Then it hit.
In that second, in that moment, I knew things were changed forever
We were under attack . I woke my husband. We sat in shocked silence
trying to wrap our minds around the event that had just took place.
It was a nightmare YOU COULD NOT WAKE UP FROM . 

We live about 20 minutes from a Air force base and something I had not heard  since I was a little girl , 3 very large Booms that rattled our windows
of our house , it sent every neighbor up and down our very long street
out onto the side walks looking into the sky. Jets planes in groups were
flying above, the younger neighbors were asking what was it was our
Air force base under attack too. We explained it was sonic booms from
the jets. Every Jet I saw that day I said a prayer to God to help
them protect  our sky's.

My nephew was in the Marines at the time stationed in California
we got all call from him the next day.
He said " I called Mom ,and now you I am going, I volunteered"
I start training  in North Carolina right away.
And he did. He did 2 tours in Iraq  and volunteered both times.
I had never been more frighten nor more proud.

I will never forget.


courage does not always roar. sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day
saying.. i will try again tomorrow.
~maryanne radmacher
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