Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where were you?

Lynn and her son -And Orange Counter Tops.
I thought a lot about this post.  I'm not going political, I'm not taking sides, but I think since I'm blogging on 9/11 - I need to address the elephant in the room.

Days and questions shape our lives.  I remember the day the Challenger exploded.  And the day Elvis died.  I even remember seeing Bobby Kennedy's funeral procession on our black and white television.

So where were you when the world changed?

Or at least the world for Americans?

I still lived in Idaho, but I'd been tentatively offered a lucrative contract to train on a child support system install in North Carolina. Two years, going from office to office, teaching people how to use the new system.  Sweet gig.  And I was totally looking forward to my new digs as well as the new job.

My husband to be had a construction business and the guys all met at our house at the beginning of the day for coffee and assignments.  When I went through the living room, I saw the television was on and the guys  watching a movie.

It wasn't a movie.

I've thought a lot about the personal effects that day had.  Even on someone who lived across the country from where the attacks occurred.  My contract was cancelled as the state pulled back from buying the new system.  My son started being a double security check at airports when he flew home from college - mostly due to the fact we didn't buy his ticket until last minute and the kid looks dark and grungy--what else can you expect, he lives in Seattle. :)

A couple years ago, my friend married one of the first responders from the New York police department.  As we walked through Times Square, she saw the danger, I still saw the beauty.

I wonder, if the world hadn't changed, and I'd gone to North Carolina for that career, would I be writing now?

So where were you?  


Morgan Mandel said...

I remember walking through the Metra on the way to work and wondering why everyone was watching TV there. It didn't click until I got to work and one of the law partners was watching a small TV. Then I saw what was happening and got very scared. After an hour or so we were sent home and all the trains were crowded.

Morgan Mandel

Laura Bradford said...

I will never forget where I was that day. Watching Barney with my then almost 3 year old. We were just cuddling and enjoying each other and the show when my friend, Laura, called and told me to turn the channel. Thirty minutes later I was in my first grader's school--didn't interrupt her day...I just needed to be where she was, too.

Fast forward to now and I'm married to a man who spent 9 months digging through the rubble of the trade center as part of the recovery team. I still see the pain in his face whenever he talks about that day and its aftermath.

Kristina Knight said...

I was sleeping in! I'd had a long night at work the night before (I was still working in TV). My best friend (another reporter) called, kind of hysterical so I flipped on the TV. And sat in shock for probably 30 minutes and then Tower 1 came down and then Tower 2...and then I got called in to work because even in Nebraska there was so much going on that day that they needed extra bodies.

John Klawitter said...

I honestly don't remember where I was. The other night there was a documentary on Nat Geo and the whole miserable mess came tumbling back into memory. Nothing about where I was or what I was doing, just the shock and stunned horror and the grim and grizzly feeling that if we had only been a little smarter, a little more suspicious, a little faster...

Lynn Cahoon said...

@Morgan - It's such a overwhelmed feeling - I'm glad you found a spot on the train.

@Laura - We had an earthquake in Idaho when Alex was still at day care. I drove over to check on him, just because I couldn't not. I so understand.

@Kristi - Thanks for sharing.

@John - I think it's the emotion that roots people in the day. I remember wondering if I should go to work or not.

Kaye George said...

I had just flown home from DC. Our daughter moved there on the 8th and she and I drove there in her car. The 10th was her first day of work, on Pennsylvania Ave. She called once, having been told to go home, but didn't know what was happening. I filled her in. It took her the rest of the day to get home and we couldn't get through on the phone until evening to find out if she was OK or not. That was the toughest part of it for us. I didn't even absorb the NY part until a little later.

Kathleen Kaska said...

I was teaching seventh-grade science. Needless to say, learning the formula for photosynthesis didn't seem important that day.

Janice Seagraves said...

I live in California and we're three hours behind NYC. I had gotten up to wake my daughter for school.

I turned on the TV and sat down staring at the burning twin towers and wondered what was going on. The news caster made the announcement. Five minutes later one of the building fell, and then my mom called.

Mom: "Are you seeing this?"

Me: "Yes."

Mom: "Did you see the building fall?"

Me: "Yes."

Mom: "Just wait the next one will too." I didn't question how she knew, but I realized she was right. If one fell the next one would too.

It wasn't long until the next one did.

I felt like I was in shock for the rest of the day.

Who hated us that much? Of course we did find out.


Lynn Cahoon said...

@Kaye - how scary for you as a parent. Glad she was alright.

@Kathleen - The normal routine helped me, although I don't think my employer got his moneys worth that day.

@Janice - Whoa, your mom's a smart woman.

Anonymous said...

I was driving to work when the first plane hit. Like every other person, I just assumed it was an accident, a pilot in a private plane had a heart attack or something, and I hoped there weren't too many injuries/deaths. I was about five minutes from the Whitestone Bridge (connects The Bronx to Queens) when the second one hit and knew instantly it was terrorists. I almost turned around and went home because I remembered hearing rumors of a plot to blow up all the NYC bridges a few years earlier. After the first bombing of the towers in the 90s there were all sorts of rumors flying around NY. I decided I was probably being paranoid and continued to work. As I drove over the bridge I looked to my right and saw the Manhattan skyline, usually a pretty sight on a sunny day. But this time all I could see was the flames and the blackest, thickest smoke I have ever witnessed just pouring out of the towers. It never occurred to me that that would be my last vision of them. Needless to say, no work got done at my job that day, but I was glad I went. It was good to be around people even if we were all in a state of shock. The hardest part for me was wondering where my brother was. He's a firefighter in the Bronx, and I couldn't reach him or his wife because the phones weren't working. Thankfully for our family, he was on another call when the towers came down so he wasn't there. But he lost a few brothers from his firehouse and I know that haunts him to this day, as well as the horrors he witnessed as he participated in the aftermath of the clean-up.

As I am reminded of the events every year, I always hope that we, or anyone, never has to go through something like this again.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

That was a tough time and we all need to remember it. I suspect as the years pass, there will be stupid people who try to say the government did it--oh, they are already saying it. Sometimes I can't help but wonder why everyone always wants to blame someone here. We have enough enemies elsewhere.

Lynn Cahoon said...

@Maura - sounds like you were right in the middle of the mix. Glad you were okay.

@Marilyn - so many conspiracy theories running around - but I guess that's what authors live on.