Nine Eleven

By | Sep 11, 2009

It’s been 8 years since the dreadful attack of terror on America. President Bush was at the same point in his first term as our current President. 9-11, if not defining the Bush Presidency, surely it was a big factor in it.

Most people over the age of 13 will remember what they were doing when they heard about the World Trade Center being hit by an airplane. I was sitting in my office at the college I was working and a co-worker said that the World Trade Center was hit. We both thought that it was probably just a small plane.

I went off to work in the basement equipment room of the College’s Gym when I got a phone call. This was right around the time of the second hit. The call was not about the attack, but a call from a telecommunications company giving me a report on a problem. There was no mention of anything out of the ordinary.

A few minutes later as I was returning to my office I walked past the College’s Switchboard, call center, operation. That’s where I heard the news and our telephone were ringing off the hook. Since I was responsible for the answering clerks, I helped. I did not move from that seat, other than short bathroom breaks, until 5 o’clock that evening. Answering the phones and directing calls. All of this without a TV or anything other than internet news report. The phone system worked fine, students were able to call out and parents got to their child. Those who depended on cell phones were not as lucky.

It wasn’t until I got home that I saw the nightly news and watched over and over the incidents that had occurred that morning. During the day I remembered that my wife’s uncle worked at the Trade Center, but he had retired so I wasn’t concerned about him. What I didn’t know was that his son worked just a few blocks away. He was fine, but took all day to get off the Island and back home in New Jersey.

The next few days were strange, especially that first night. Being in a rural area there isn’t a lot of air traffic going, but the night skies were eerily quiet. For a while it wasn’t business as usual, and in many ways it still isn’t. Eight years ago the United States and the World changed.

*****
I would love to hear your story on when you heard the terrible news and what you may have done during the crisis.


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Thank You for Reading

1 Comment so far
  1. Jerry September 11, 2009 10:53 am

    Yes, today as always is a somber day for me. I was driving up route 17 in Rutherford, NJ on my ham radio when I heard the news. Our caffeteria windows overlloked the WTC area from NJ where we could see the smoke rising and saw the second plane hit. I was managing an information security team at the time. Called my boss in Manhattan and told him I was just going to take control and make decisions (at the time many things required both of us to approve). I divided my team into two 12 hour shifts, told those who couldn’t get back from home to take a hotel room. Tried to find the whereabouts of my team members that were in NYC….worried and scared and horrified…knowing we were going to lose people (my company occumpied about 1/2 of 7 WTC, and we did lose folks, though that building evacuated successfully)….I remember having an air mattress in my car, leaky, but working, carried it up to my office….I caught maybe a handful of 10 minute naps for 72
    hours….remember sending people down to the ferry spots in NJ to pick up those who managed to get out….remember getting on my ham radio, cel phone towers were down or flooded….I remember finaly getting home 3 days later….falling asleep at a stop sign around the corner from my apartment and my foot slipping off the break….hitting the car in front of me….him getting out all upset….breatking down into tears and explaining….the other driver sharing gentle words with me urging me to be careful and get some sleep….I remember drving up to Canada to get Terry (she was there on a visit 4 days later) and what the border crossing was like…I remember the smell and smoke and chemicals in the air when I travelled to NYC, I remember being so proud to have been a big part of getting Wall Street up and running again, tears streaming down my face (as they are right now) when we lit things up….saying out loud “take that you bastards”…..

    Most of all….I remember how so many of my fellow humans, both countrymen/women and not,were finding that deep well that each of us has within ourselves, filled with caring, love, kindness, compassion and strength……

    I remember, I will never forget…..may their souls be remembered always.

    Sorry for rambling…..

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