Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Special Edition: 9/11

Six years, my friends, since everything changed.

Six years, since we heard the horrible news, one way or another.

Six years, and I suspect a lot of us are still trying to make sense of what happened, and what has flowed from that.

9/11 was a collective tragedy. Please share your memories, thoughts, feelings, if you wish. This thread will stay open until Thursday.

Thanks to Robin Andrea at, for the inspiration of her lovely post.


Miranda said...

I'll come back later to share my remembrances, Kathy. But I wanted to thank you for starting this thread. I fear that the reality of that day has started to be lost in the mists of time and propaganda.

I just knew when I first saw footage of the Towers, one had fallen and smoke billowed out of the other, that the world my children would grow up in was going to be a lot scarier than they deserved to grow up in.

Elizabeth said...

It's a gray overcast day here in DC, and I'm just so glad that it's not another fireplacing perfect fall day with a bright blue sky.

turtlebella said...

I looked out the window this morning and saw a perfect blue sky here and my heart sunk a little. I am a little further away - physically - from the sites than I was then, at the time I was in central Virginia. I spent the day in a fog, I couldn't stop working so I found something totally mindless to do and listened to NPR. I didn't see any images until lunchtime and even then I couldn't watch. Still can't.

I'm getting on a plane this afternoon to Rome (which is a good thing, really) and I can't help but be a little nervous. Who knows why I booked the flight for this day, I was thinking more about price than the precise day. Oh well. Peace to all of the pixies on this day.

kathy a. said...

my heart goes out to everyone who lost someone.

when i saw the first report of a plane hitting one of the towers, i thought it must have been a small plane and a terrible accident. then i read about the second plane, and i thought we were at war. [the war we ended up in, though, was thankfully nothing i could imagine that day.] miranda hit the nail on the head -- our children would grow up in a much scarier world.

the feelings of disbelief and "oh my god, what's next" are still such strong, visceral memories. one, two three targets; the towers freaking collapsing; another hijaked airliner, and the crash.

some colleagues worked in manhattan, and one i knew well; there were rounds of emails and phone calls, and finally we found out they were safe, the next day. but so many people were not safe.

my daughter was 12 and son was 14; we talked and talked. i remember being glad i had time to freak out while they were at school, because -- somehow, my job with them meant being as honest as i could be, caring for their concerns, but not scaring them more with my own sense of horror.

my daughter and i went quite a few times, over the next weeks, to a spontaneous peace memorial a few miles away. we just had a need to be with other people. neighbors brought flowers and even small trees; people wrote thoughts and hung them from lines, along with origami cranes and other small offerings; quiet groups gathered every night, sharing candlelight.

S. said...

Tuesdays were advisory in the school where I taught, and I had preps before it that day, so I heard at the xerox machine. I went from watching the collapse in disbelief on a staticky television in the main office to telling my collection of fragile-souled seniors something they couldn't believe. While I was still helping them absorb it, the dean of students came along to say that planes had gone down in DC, where I'm from, and I couldn't reach my parents for hours and hours. My father's office isn't far from the White House, and my mother is often at the DC courthouse and I grew up only a mile from the Capitol, in the house where they still live.

Thank god they were fine, thank god the passengers took the fourth plane down where they did, but it was a long wait while the rumors were sorted out and an even longer wait to hear from them. Plenty of time to imagine how other families were feeling.

Mrs. Coulter said...

Like Elizabeth, I am glad that it is not a bright, beautiful sunny day without a cloud in the sky. For a long time, those days made me shudder. The effect is fading now. My own remembrance is posted here.

Elizabeth said...

On that day, I was at my office, and my boss stuck her head in to say that someone said that an airplane had hit the world trade center, and did I know if this was true? I tried to check on the web, and when none of the news sites would load, I figured it had to be true. We ran to her boss' office, where there was a television and saw the first images.

I spent the next several hours dashing back and forth between that television and my office, where I was trying to contact my family in NYC by phone or email. It's all sort of a blur to me. I honestly don't know whether I saw either of the towers go down live. I think when I saw the second one go, I at first thought it was a replay of the first.

And then we heard about the Pentagon, and rumors that the Capitol had been attacked, and the White House. I was a fed, and my office was 2 blocks from the Capitol. But we had heard that the metro was shut down, so most of us decided to stay put, rather than risk being out on the street with nowhere to go.

Around 12 the security guards came around and told us that the building was closing and we HAD to leave. One of the senior staff had driven, and gave a bunch of us a ride home -- 395 was open going away from DC.

At home it was a gorgeous day and nothing was happening. My husband made me eat something, and then I decided I needed to get away from the television before my head exploded, so I took D (who was 8 months old) and walked over to the local Red Cross to see if I could donate blood.

I really think D kept me sane that week, because he needed me to be normal.

bj said...

i heard the news at just before 6 on npr which is my radio alarm...i went to turn on the tv.

when i got to school (west coast) , the new teacher i was mentoring came in and sat down on the floor at my feet, completley distraught and looking for guidance as to what to say and do with her classes that day. i remember thinking, i have 30 yrs teaching experience, and i hardly know what to tell her.

KLee said...

I am way too far south to have had my life touched by actual loss on 9/11. I did not lose anyone that day, but I still feel the pain of every death as if I knew everyone personally.

I know that we observed a moment of silence at school today, and we said the Pledge of Allegiance (something we rarely ever do) at our adult Girl Scout meeting this evening.

I heard the news when I was at school. I was teaching PreK, and I went to the office to turn in my attendance slip, and everyone was rooted to the floor, watching the footage on the office TV. Soon after, an announcement came on, and the principal asked all teachers to turn off their TVs, if they had them on. Our community has a LOT of military families, and they soon started arriving to grab their kids out of school, afraid of attacks. I remember hearing that WTC was hit, the Capitol was under siege, and that Sears Tower in Chicago had been bombed. It was mass chaos -- no one knew anything for sure, since we were on a TV blackout -- rumors spread wildly.

I managed to turn on the TV while the kids were down the hall using the restroom, and I remember looking on in horror as I watched one of the towers collapse. I saw replays of the planes hitting, and my mind just reeled.

debangel said...

I grew up about 30 minutes outside of Manhattan, in northern NJ. I remember thinking that the whole world was over. I remember taking out my high school yearbook and comparing the names to the list of the victims. And I remember calling my long-time-ago first boyfriend/oldest friend because I couldn't imagine a world without him in it. His sister worked in Manhattan but was OK, and what sticks in my head was the stress in his voice, normally so calm, as he told me that people in town were dropping of heart attacks just from the stress of that horrible day.

And I remember wanting to get in the car and drive to NYC from San Diego and dig through the rubble by hand. I still feel like I should have been there, like I left my home abandoned in its pain.

Elizabeth, that bright blue fall sky (the #1 thing I miss from home) is all I ever hear my friends talk about when 9/11 comes up. That, and how the shattering glass from the towers sparkled in the sun..

Mary- said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary-Ann said...

***Sorry! Reposting to correct my name! I am Mary-Ann and I hate when I am called Mary only. LoL (can someone delete the first post- so sorry for being so stubborn about my name!)

I drove to campus on that day, oblivious to what had happened just an hour or so before. As I came in the building I heard some students talking about people not liking us and something about bombs. I thought, what?? I went down the stairs to class we talked about it. I was shocked and I was so glad I'd not heard at home, when I was alone.

I talked to my dear aunt in California that night. She was the only person I did talk to about it (as I live alone far from family). I remember fearfully asking her are we in war??

And now, as I sit here, I wonder where six years have gone?? And think of the horrible war we're in and how crazy the world can be.

I am thankful for people we can share with and connect with. Thankful for being able to share my thoguhts and feelings here.