Monday, September 11, 2017

We all Remember

A few days after 9-11 I was on the floor, dragging things out from under Alan's bed to pack or toss.
I found this shirt in my hands. It is stored now in my top dresser drawer, with bringing the baby home from the hospital outfits and a bag left to me by a best friend who is gone.

What we were doing when our world was torn apart. My mother remembers Pearl Harbor and how she and her cousins overheard the adults downstairs expressing their horror.....

I remember being in class, 1963, mid-afternoon on a Friday late in November, when suddenly our teacher hurried out into the hall, and trotted away, simply leaving the class alone and unattended. We could see other teachers hustling down the hall toward the office, classes abandoned, lessons forgotten.

Something big was happening. Something bad. We sat in our seats, whispering, rustling papers, and looking around outside....what was going on?

 It was scary.

Then came an announcement over the loudspeaker. Our president had been assassinated. In those days we didn't have social media to foment flavor-of-the-week outrages...he was pretty much beloved. We were sent home early, but didn't feel that usual sense of magical freedom that an early dismissal usually provided. We were too stunned.

I remember even better sixteen years ago today. At exactly this moment in the morning one of the planes took off from Logan Airport. I had shifted the kids out to the school bus and was packing, an endless job for a family of five pack rats, who had had fifteen years in a huge house to accumulate stuff. 

The boss's mom had passed away on my birthday in July and we were slowly moving into her house...this on the farm. The boss was milking and feeding alone that day.

I had the radio in the kitchen tuned to BUG country, listening to Frank Alford's morning show as was my habit. Something in his voice made me leave the front of the house where I was working to go back to the kitchen where the radio was, only to hear that the first plane had hit the World Trade Center. I trotted back to the living room to turn on the TV.

At first no one knew what was going on. It seemed as if it might be accidental. Then came the second plane.... I hurried to the farm, helped the boss finish milking, then we went and got the kids from school, and to the store to buy emergency supplies.

Today people take the latter for granted. Stores empty of bread, water, milk and TP whenever there is a threat, be it weather or otherwise. That day everyone thought we were nuts.

Later my boss at the paper told me that one of the planes made its fateful turn toward NYC right over the city where the paper is based. 

It was eerie in following days with no planes left in the sky.

We were missing the boss's mom, Grandma Peggy, something fierce, but we were almost glad she missed the horror of that day and those that followed.

And today, we will all remember again. What we were doing. What we thought and how we feared. How our country pulled together for a while, somewhat like it is doing now with all the disasters coast-to-coast.

 What were you doing when the world stopped turning?


Jan said...

It is sad that it takes these tragic events to bring us together

MsRowdyRedhead said...

I woke up as usual for work, and sat in my chair with a cup of coffee foe the morning news, as usual. I couldn't move for hours. There is still a stain on the rug where the coffee spilled.
I grew up in NY, and three of my friends were in the towers when they went.. including the boy who gave me my first kiss, in grade school, on the playground.
I will never forget, and I will fight anyone who tries to make me.

Denny Gross said...

I was at work. We have a TV in the lunch room that's always on and word got around quickly about the crashes. I tried to go back to my desk to work but was just too shook to do anything. The boss let anybody go home who wanted to. I went home and just sat in a daze in front of the TV. Finally turned it off when I couldn't take it anymore. My husband was recently retired from the Army and knew one of the soldiers killed at the Pentagon. Despite being an Army wife, I was always more dove than hawk. That day changed me. The argument that retaliatory military action kills innocent people who had nothing to do with terrorists doesn't work for me. That's too bad--if it keeps Americans from dying, I am in favor of a strategic strike.