My September 11th Memory

I woke up this morning, remembering.

Last night, my husband and I remembered together.  We recalled how my phone rang because my friend in Chicago was watching the morning news.  I couldn’t understand her because of the crying. 

We recalled how I called my husband at work and how he came home that morning from his office in Ann Arbor.

We recalled how we thought my dad was en route to the Pentagon, and we didn’t know–for at least an hour–whether or not he was in the Pentagon or still in Alexandria, Virginia.  He wasn’t there that morning, but we didn’t know that yet.

We recalled how we stared at the TV–standing up mostly, not sitting–for nearly 9 hours straight.   We recalled how we had to do something, so we went to buy an American flag to fly.  When we arrived at the store, everyone else in our community was thinking the same thing.  I drove around town, pregnant with my first daughter, and asked God if the world was really coming to an end.  Was I ready?

I went to a campus chapel and cried with complete strangers for a few hours.  

Everyone has their story to tell.  One way to honor this day is to allow people in your life to tell it. 

Journal:  Can you remember that day as clearly as I can?

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  1. I was homeschooling my kids at the time and, thankfully, remembered to have them pull out their journals and write. I re-read their journals entries last year and was prompted to write down my memories. Writing helps me remember.

  2. I was working in the office at our church, when one of the volunteer workers called to say that she was going to be late arriving. However, she mentioned to me on the phone that she'd heard about a plane crashing in NYC. I then turned on my desk radio and began listening to the events as they unfolded. A couple hours later, the church staff went next door to one of the pastor's homes to watch the coverage on tv.

  3. That must have been very difficult to not know about your dad, Heather. I cannot imagine.

    I agreed to write about that day for a friend with an online magazine, so I can't write about it on my blog, but I'll comment here that we had just returned from Parents Weekend at the U.S.Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point where our son Nick was a plebe. Two of Nick's best friends from home had gone with us to the Academy for the long weekend. We flew out of JFK not more not 36 hours before the 1st plane hit, and as our plane banked across the Hudson River to head south, I clearly remember one of Nick's friends pointing out the window and saying, “There's the twin towers.” On the morning of 9-11, Emily and I were sitting on the floor of the study sorting through our bags of USMMA and NYC souvenirs when my husband called to tell me that he'd just heard on the radio that a plane had flown into one of the towers and we might want to turn on the TV. I'll have to save the rest of the story for the article…but that's the beginning of my story.