Monday, September 11, 2017

Where were you on 9-11 #OpenBook Blog Hop

Some events are burned into our memories. The moon landings. The Kennedy assignations. We use them to mark the passage of time. For me, one of those was 9/11.

The day started out normally at the state agency where I was employed. The beginning of the day paperwork and barrage of phone calls. The smell of a plethora of cups of coffee in the air and the chatter of coworkers as they settled into workday echoed in the hallways.

And then, the mood changed and the whispers started. Something about a plane crash in New York City. Into a building. Our boss pulled a TV out of his office and moved it into an empty room where any staff member could stop by and catch up on what was going on.

Then a second place crashed into a nearby skyscraper. All pretense of work ended as we tried to keep up with the rapid flow of incoming news.

When a plane crashed into the Pentagon, I couldn't believe it. I'd always thought of the Pentagon as indestructible. But then, I'd never imagined anyone crashing a plane into it.

Unlike some of my coworkers, I hadn't started crying yet. I was too stunned to process my emotions. And then the South Tower collapsed.

When word came of another plane being hijacked, we were all sent outside. Not that our small office was a likely target, but all the government facilities in the state were being evacuated as a precaution. Some of us sat in our vehicles and turned on the radio to listen to the news.

And that's when I panicked. All they knew was the fourth plane had crashed into a rural area in Western Pennsylvania. And that was all they knew. My family lived on Western Pennsylvania in a rural area. I couldn't even go back inside the building to call them. Luckily, one of the other employees had a cell phone and she allowed me to borrow it. (Daytime calls were limited back in those days!) I was able to get through to my mother and check in. All of my siblings were safe—including the one that worked in the DC area— although she was still waiting to hear from some nieces and nephews.

We did get to go back inside after awhile. I don't remember much work getting done that day. Not that anyone cared.

The images of people covered in ashes walking away from the disaster site will forever stay with me. I feel blessed that no one I knew was killed in the attack.

Let's find out what the other authors remember about the day.

P.S. To all my friends and acquaintances throughout Florida—may you stay safe and may your electricity come back soon!

September 11, 2017 – Where were you and what did you do when you heard about the 911 attacks? What did you do to move on?
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
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  1. A terrible day, that as you say, is burned in our memories forever.

  2. My parents had Pearl Harbor Day. They could remember in detail exactly what they were doing when they heard the news and in the hours following. Dad was on Maui, so he actually knew where Pearl Harbor was, having been there just a day or two before. Mom and her friends had to look it up on a map.

    For my brother (12 years my senior), it was the day Kennedy was shot. He could remember vividly sitting in his car, shocked at what the radio was saying and then going to my parents' house (he lived with his dad) and locking himself in the downstairs bathroom. I sort of remembered everybody being upset, but I was three, so the reasons why went over my head.

    This morning as I was driving to work, the sky was devoid of aircraft, which is just not normal in Fairbanks during hunting season. I felt my gut tighten. And then I saw one just as I turned into the parking lot and I started to breath again. My daughter remembers 9-11, she was 9 when it happened. My son, who was 3, feels about it the way I feel about JFK ... sad, but not personal. He will unfortunately probably have some incident in his life that is a generational defining point, it just hasn't happened yet.

  3. It will never be erased from my mind and I suspect millions of others' minds. I only hope my children will not have a moment in time they cannot forget, unless it is for happy reasons.