Monday, September 11, 2006

My 9/11 Story

Many people have shared the 9/11 story, so I will share mine. My day started about 4 AM. Bruce was picked up by the car service at 5 AM for a trip to Logan airport and across the country. By 8 AM I was in my office starting my work day. The phone rang at 8:15. It was Bruce, calling me from Cincinnati to let me know that he loved me and that he was OK so far. It was a very normal conversation for us. He always calls me when he changes planes.

At 8:45 I called a client in New York City. She wasn't in her office and I left a message. Two minutes later, my son, who was scheduled to fly from Minnesota to Massachusetts that coming Friday, called me and told me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. About that same time one of the researchers came through the office saying the same thing. I never popped onto the internet faster in my life. Geoffrey, my son, stayed on the phone for a while telling me what was happening.

My phone rang again. This time it was Bruce. His exact words were, "What the f**** is going on in the world?" By this time the FAA had grounded all the planes. His plane was stopped while heading for the runway. The pilot had come on and told the passengers that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and they wouldn't be going anywhere. So I told him what I knew and that his assistant and I would try to get him a hotel room in Cincinnati. Then I realized that my FIL and MIL were on their way to Logan as well and knew they would be turned around.

About that time we heard about the plane hitting the Pentagon. I realized that a close friend of ours was headed out of Washington that day as well. (Everyone was heading to Phoenix for an industry conference). I called his office in Virginia to see if he was all right. He was supposed to have been on that plane that hit the Pentagon, but had a last minute cancellation for a business meeting the night before and had already changed his flight. Whew!

When the news started coming out that the planes had taken off from Logan airport I suddenly realized the Bruce could have been on one of those planes. He had left Logan when the hijackers were leaving Portland, ME. That is when I lost control. I couldn't concentrate and knew I couldn't stay in the office. A bunch of us went out to lunch and stared at the TV screens watching the horrible footage while trying to figure out what happened.

I was afraid to go home alone so I stopped by my in-laws house for a while. Then I stopped and visited with one of my BIL's for an hour. By the time I got home I was numb and all I could do was climb into bed and keep the TV on for fear I might miss something.

Bruce didn't get home from Cincinnati for two days and then he could fly as close as Hartford and we had a car service pick him up and bring him home. We had only been married for 2 months at the time and I don't think I have ever hugged him so hard that night.

Our company has lots of clients in New York City, but no one we knew was killed although some of them lost their offices. One of our friends who worked in Manhattan had to walk home to Brooklyn that day. Another friend's mother is a flight attendant and was supposed on one of the Boston flights that morning, but had changed her shift the night before because of a broken clothes dryer. One of my BILs knew one of the pilots as they went to the same church. My son didn’t make it to Massachusetts for another week. Another BIL who is in the Marines Reserve has had to serve 6 months in Washington, DC and two 6 month tours in Afghanistan since 9/11. All in all, we have been lucky.

My son loves history and is planning on becoming a history teacher. He had a discussion with my dad during that week about the difference between Dec 7, 1941 and the events of 9/11. The biggest difference, they concluded, was how immediate the news was carried around the world and whether or not having immediate news is a good thing or a bad thing. That is probably a question that many people have debated and will continue to debate.

I guess I’ve gone on long enough. Thanks for reading my story.


Vicky said...

Reading your story makes me realize how lucky I was that I didn't have any family flying at the time to worry about. This day five years ago had an impact on each of us that we will always remember. Thank you for sharing your story wtih us.


sewnut said...

Where were you when you heard the news? The 9/11 event is the question of the 21st Century, just the same as the Assination of JFK.

I was at work, my first thought was that there was a prank newscast and quickly I realized not. I discovered many back door accesses to websites that day as they were all so busy.
I had a need to know - Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

Thanks for sharing. Oh my gosh I cannot imagine how it would have played out if you had heard about the crashes before your honey had called you.

I had never thought about the differences between 12/7/41 & 9/11/2001, I have to agree that the biggest is probably INSTANT NEWS and watching the people die when the towers fell.

Inga Helene said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I think that that day and the days that followed where some of the scariest days in my life, wondering what was going to come next.