Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you???

I never really understood the fact that people always so vividly remembered where they were when John F Kennedy was shot. Yes, it was a pretty important event in history, but why were people so fascinated with remembering where they were when it happened? I never fully understood that question until 9/11....then I completely understood. It seems like there has been a lot of coverage for September 11th this year - I guess because it's the 5th anniversary. So...where were you on 9/11? (Have you heard the song, "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?" It still gives me chills!)

I was home on maternity leave with Jenna. She was 2 months old. I had just taken Jacob to preschool and then came home to sit down and feed Jenna while I watched the Today show and as I watched they interrupted the Today show with the breaking news that something had happened to the first tower. And as I was watching the Today show, I saw the second plane fly into the World Trade Center live....and from that moment on I was glued to the TV. I just couldn't stop watching - I think it's because I had watched it happen and just had to know the stories behind the people involved - the families whose lives would never, ever be the same. I can rememer picking Jacob up at preschool at 11:00 and having his teacher ask me what had happened - they hadn't seen any of it yet. I can remember emailing Chris and telling him to call me just because I wanted to be sure he knew what had happened, and I wanted to hear his voice. I can remember wanting to call and see everyone I loved, just because everything suddenly seemed so scary. I can remember still watching the coverage in the afternoon while Jacob played with legos in the other room. I didn't think he had really watched much of it and didn't think he understood. But, then he called me into the dining room and said "Watch this mommy" while he took a toy airplane and flew it into a tower of legos he had built, knocking it to the ground. Then he said "It's just like on TV". I can remember holding Jenna and Jacob all day and not wanting to put them down. I can remember seeing all the people who had missing family members standing there holding a photo of the missing person, begging for people to contact them if they had seen that person. I remember thinking that maybe, just maybe, they would find some of those people alive. I can remember holding Jenna almost all day and thinking how different the world she would grow up in was going to be. I can remember exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing - and I don't think I will ever forget it.

I've been lucky enough to visit NYC three times since 9/11. I never saw NYC with the World Trade Center towers in the skyline. When I visited Ground Zero, I felt sick...even though there was nothing there but a big hole. Having been to NYC, it's hard to picture what it looked like before the attacks ....or what it must have been like on that day. I do know that I will never be able to look at the calendar and view September 11th as just another day.


Jill said...

Liberty Hill, teaching language arts, and I remember going in the hall and the math teacher next door telling me something had happened. I didn't get how bad it was till later in the day. I do remember that night, at home in our rental house in Temple, and we had moved all our furniture to the dining area in preparation for our house to be leveled. So, we layed on the floor on blankets, watching the tv that was on the floor, going through every channel on cable and seeing the same thing. I also remember finally putting on the cartoon network, because my brain/emotions just needed a break from it.

~Lori said...

I was at home, just waking up, and Joe was getting back from a Dr. appointment, and told me to turn on the tv. We sat and watched the whole thing on our little bedroom TV for hours... later that day I drove into Flint, I had to renew my cell phone, and it felt weird doing something so day-to-day, when something so life changing was going on in NYC.
Later that afternoon, I had to work at a golf course, and we all pretty much sat in the clubhouse watching the TV there, since hardly anyone was golfing that day. It felt strange to be driving around doing daily routine things.

Jessica said...

Hi! I started to answer as a comment, but it got too long, so I wrote my own post to answer your question. I really liked this post though. Thank you for your reflections and for bringing it up. I'm interested to read everyone's responses.

Anonymous said...

I was walking into the office of Urbana Local Intermediate school, when a friend stopped me in the hall to tell me about the first plane.What a shock! When I left the previous building to make the 5 mile drive between schools,life in the USA had still been "normal". I listened to radio news on the return trip to my main building and then followed tv coverage whenever I was at home. I also needed to make contact with family just to know everyone was ok. The news soon hit closer to home, because a recent graduate from one of our neighboring schools was a flight attendant, who was killed in the second plane crash. Yes, some things you remember without even trying. When the news of JFK was announced over the school intercom, I was in the front row of the clarinet section at WJHS. These events certainly remind me to appreciate people and events daily because God's plan for tomorrow could be very different. Aunt Barb

Brenda said...

September 11 used to be the day before my birthday- now it is a national day of remembrance. How weird is that? I was teaching in the same school in the same classroom as I am now. Our assistant principals came around with little slips of paper to say what happened. Being a huge military town, this was big...I mean really scary big because there was a big threat of this world's largest army post being another attack victim! I remember going through it with my students on the tv in the classroom and telling them that for the rest of their lives they will remember being in my English class when they found out the news!
Yesterday we did a writing activity on it and it was weird because I am still in the same room teaching freshmen and sophomores- but those kids are in their 20's now and this new group was only in 4th or 5th grade and really didn't know that much. So I got to teach them and pull up my NYC photos from the summer to show them on my laptop what it looks like now. Now I wish I would've taken more photos in June!

cheryl said...

wow. this totally brought tears to my eyes. i was at work in the basement of the paulding county court house and this old lady came in crying her eyes out saying "it's just like pearl harbor! it's just like pearl harbor!" we found a tv and all sat around watching it for the rest of the day. none of us got any work done.
wow. thanks for the reminder. i don't think it really hit home till i read this.
love you, lady! (any dates for sure yet? :D)

Anonymous said...

I was in a local Nationwide Insurance office paying my monthly bill when someone came in and told us what had happened. Of course at first we didn't believe it. I was on my way to the church to get my preschool room ready for a new year but made a stop at home to watch tv and it was there I saw the second plane hit. After I got to the church, there were stories and rumors going constantly and we watched tvs and listened on the radio as much as possible. The MOPS group was meeting that day and I remember how many of those young mothers kept going in and out of the meeting, calling husbands on cell phones, checking their kids in the various rooms, etc. Some were so scared because their husbands were out of town and they couldn't reach them. And I remember waiting in line for gas that evening (everyone was there filling up, afraid they would run out and the price had gone up. ) Finally we went to church that evening where many people gathered to sing and pray for the families of those lost, missing, and for our nation and many shared people they knew that were affected by this. It was there that we found out that 3 couples from our church were vacationing near where flight 93 had gone down in Pennsylvania and they heard it and saw the huge smoke cloud. We all knew that our nation would never again be the same. I too got to see the area this summer and it was a very emotional experience.
Kennedy--I was in Mrs. Bonhardt's senior English class when the announcement came over the loudspeaker. Our senior class play, The Robe, was that weekend, and the decision was made to go ahead and have the play. Nov. 1963 and September 2001 I spent many hours in front of the tv watching. Mom

Nancy G. said...

Funny - Sudsy & I were just discussing if a different part of the brain stores traumatic memories b/c they always remain with you. It was a beautiful day -clear blue sky,no humidity. I had my 7th graders,& a teacher came to our rooms to tell us what was known then,so we turned on the t.v. A little later a sub. on prep time came by to see if any of us needed a break, so I locked myself in the teacher's r.r. trying to decide if I was going to cry or throw up. I still feel that way when I see the replays. Jessica called home, then Kyle got home & had lots of questions about reinstating the draft (he was 17).
Life is precious.
JFK - 5th grade inside recess. Watching the proceedings on our b & w tv, including Oswalt being shot. The riderless horse with the boots backwards, the Navy Hymn & Going Home played over & over. Having the day off school, then deciding to quit watching & go outside to play. Hey, I was 10. A few years ago we were in Dallas & went to that site, including the book depository. Very surreal.