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Remembering 9 / 11

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Remembering 9 / 11

Post by wendy » Sun September 11th, 2011, 1:52 pm

"I am the mash'd fireman with breast-bone broken,
Tumbling walls buried me in their debris,
Heat and smoke I inspired, I heard the yelling of my comrades,
I heard the distant click of their picks and shovels,
They have clear'd the beams away, they tenderly lift me forth."
(Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself") 1891-1892

God Bless America. Stay strong, New York!
Wendy K. Perriman
Fire on Dark Water (Penguin, 2011)

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Post by Susan » Sun September 11th, 2011, 2:18 pm

It's so tragically sad to see the families, children who never got to know a family member, families finding their loved ones' names on the new memorial, and hearing family members read the names of those lost.

I was flying on that day. It seems like yesterday. I flew out of Newark Airport from the same terminal as United Flight 93. I shiver when I think I could have been near those despicable terrorists, that they could have chosen my plane. My plane was behind Flight 93 on the runway.

My son worked in Arlington, Virginia and saw the Pentagon burning from his office window. My daughter was at college in Brooklyn in New York City. She walked to the East River and saw the World Trade Center burning.
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Post by Divia » Sun September 11th, 2011, 2:55 pm

Whoa. That is crazy, Susan. I mean you may have seen them. Freaky.

I was teaching in Maryland at the time. Seven, MD. We had come back from mass(catholic school) then watched it unfold in the classroom. We thought we were going to be next. In the craziness of that day we thought they were going to hit our tunnels.

Today, I am going to a remembrance ceremony.
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Post by princess garnet » Sun September 11th, 2011, 7:47 pm

I was a freshman in college and classes had started just days earlier. I found out about it when I walked into the library after class and everyone was gathered around a TV. I remember family members holding posters of their loved ones, being interviewed by reporters, appealing for info on their whereabouts. Back then, what social media besides the web and cell phones?
That evening we had an outdoor prayer service. It was the one day I wanted to go home.
At Mass last night, there was a prayer petition for 9/11 anniversary.

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Post by LoveHistory » Mon September 12th, 2011, 12:16 am

I was asleep. Pregnant with my second son and taking a nap. My Mom called up the stairs and said "someone flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is burning." I remember thinking that hitting the pentagon was a declaration of war. And later in the day for some reason the name Osama Bin Laden (which never stuck with me before) came into my mind.

Spent the day in a fog, watching the news reports and waiting for more information. Worrying about family members on military installations in case there were more attacks. Praying for survivors to be found and for the families of those who weren't going to make it.

My oldest was almost two years old and had these little building blocks that he loved. He built two towers and carried them around with him for months, calling them New York. Also after seeing pictures of the dust everywhere he said something about a vacuum and cleaning New York.

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Thank you for the Walt Whitman

Post by LGWalker » Mon September 12th, 2011, 1:59 am

Thank you Wendy for the Walt Whitman ... I was not familiar with the verse, and, as the daughter of a retired Fire Chief, it is profound.

I was at a Toddler Gym class with my younger daughter, who was 11 months old at the time. She was baptized the following Sunday, a commitment made months earlier, just 5 days later, and a standing-room-only crowd witnessed her baptism as a symbol of hope for the future.

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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Mon September 12th, 2011, 4:02 am

Susan, I don't know what to say to your experience. That is just gut wrenching. I'm glad you're still here. Your children too.

I was teaching 3rd grade when it happened. They locked us down--locked all outside doors and interior doors. I couldn't watch the tv or radio for fear of frightening the children. I kept peeking out of the long, skinny window, waiting for the bombs to start falling. I didn't learn what all had actually happened until hours later.

On a lighter note, it is difficult to keep 20 3rd graders from going to the bathroom for four hours. Yikes.

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Post by Ash » Mon September 12th, 2011, 4:20 am

I was doing some work from home that morning, and happened upon my reading forum to see a post about a plane hitting the tower. I spent the next few hours on the site, posting with others while they were all sharing information, fears, questions. It was interesting getting all of my news off the net; I didn't see watch the news of the events for a few days. That site archived the posts, and each year I'd relive those hours on the anniversary. Can't do that now since the site is gone, so today I watched the video of the CNN live broadcast of the events. Even after 10 years, those images are still shocking and heart breaking; and that feeling of uncertainty and fear still palapable.

I don't think I realized how much it all hit me, until a few days later at a staff meeting. When the discussion turned to what color highlighting pen we should be used for various forms, I lost it. I ran out of the room in tears. Thousands of people died, and we are talking about what?

This morning I called a friend in NYC to see how she was doing. A few years before, she had her offices in the towers. There was a lot she saw that day that still gives her nightmares. She says she keeps thinking that the anniversaries will get easier as they go by, but they aren't for her.In fact she says they get harder.
Last edited by Ash on Mon September 12th, 2011, 4:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon September 12th, 2011, 4:42 am

Reading these posts, I was thinking that 9/11/2001 has replaced 11/22/1963 as the "Where were you when...?" moment. Probably because you'd have to be over fifty to remember the assassination of President Kennedy. Or maybe 1/28/86 when the Challenger exploded on live television.

I was gathering my supplies and about to head out to the land we used to lease for the llamas -- it was vet day, and looking at my file for the day we had 26 animals to give shots to, four to geld, six males to trim fighting teeth off of, and two females to palpate for pregnancy.

My daughter called from the caretaker's cottage and told me to turn on my computer and read the news. I thought it was a fake at first. I said, "You know they tried to blow those us ten years ago, and it didn't work."

As it happened, we didn't get our vetting done that day.

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Post by Margaret » Mon September 12th, 2011, 5:07 am

I live in Oregon and was asleep in the early morning of 9/11, but I woke up very suddenly, and it took me awhile to get back to sleep. Later in the morning, after I heard about the attack, I subtracted for the time-zone difference and realized I had woken up right at the time the first plane hit. I watched the news coverage on television over and over until I was able to process that it was real and not a movie special effect. Afterward, I felt like I never wanted to watch a movie about buildings getting blown up again. I also never wanted to watch the footage of the planes hitting the towers again, and for the most part I have succeeded in avoiding it. Maybe some things should not be simulated for entertainment purposes; it confuses our brains and cheapens our reactions. Reading is a little different from watching movies or on TV - when we read, we are inside the heads of the characters so that the feelings of people affected by a disaster come across most strongly; when we just watch, the "wow" factor dominates.

I was in my 5th grade classroom when President Kennedy was assassinated. My teacher interrupted us (I forget exactly what we had been doing), told us what had happened, and had us all stand up and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I grew up in Denton, Texas, not too far from Dallas, and Kennedy had not been very popular in Texas, so it felt like the state I lived in was tainted.
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