Where Were You?

memorial On that eleventh day of September, 2001, do you remember where you were, what you were doing?  I remember it was a Monday.  I remember I was sleeping.  I was working as a private duty sitter at the time, working weekends, from 5:00 p.m. on Friday’s until 7:00 a.m. on Monday.  The lady had Alzheimer’s, so I didn’t get to sleep much.  If I slept she might go walkabout and leave her apartment, getting lost or hurt.  So I stayed awake the entire time, and by 7:30 a.m. every Monday I was at home, sleeping, with Max curled up beside me in my bed.

Sometime during the day my phone rang.  Most people knew not to call me.  They knew I would be sleeping from all the hours awake.  But this caller was persistent.  If the phone went to voice mail, they hung up and dialed again.  Finally, I answered it.  My mom was calling.  And she was extremely shaken.  I knew something terrible had happened, because she never called me on Monday.

Mom:  what do you think about the Twin Towers?

Me (yawning deeply):  they’re okay I guess, if you like tall buildings.

Mom (sounding shocked):  aren’t you watching television?

Me (still yawning):  no, I’m trying to get a little bit of sleep.

Mom:  turn your TV on right now!

Me:  I’m tired mom.  I worked  72 hours without any sleep.  I don’t want to watch TV.

Mom:  the Twin Towers are on fire.  Someone flew planes into them.  Oh, no, the first one just collapsed!!!

memorial photoAt that point I forgot about sleep and started fumbling for my remote.  I found it just as the second tower began to collapse.  As I watched they began re-running the scenes from the beginning, talking about the hijacking of the airplanes, and showing them flying into the towers.  I watched in horror as it was all played out over and over.  I watched the devastation from my home and thought of friends and relatives who lived and/or worked in New York.  Thought of their families who still lived here.  And prayed for them all.  The ones I knew, and the ones I would never know.

After maybe three hours I couldn’t watch any longer.  I turned the TV off, took Max out for a walk, then tried to decide if I could eat something.  I couldn’t.  I also couldn’t watch TV any more that night.  Or the rest of that week.  Every time I turned it on I would see the same images, hear the same sounds, imagine the same screams for help that couldn’t get there.  And even now, the memories remain.

salute service dogs I had to begin to function again eventually.  I kept receiving calls from my mom asking if I was watching the news.  I kept telling her “no”.  There is only so much my mind can take before it shuts down completely.  She kept worrying about it.  I kept telling her to stop worrying and start praying.  She told me someone had to worry.  She never convinced me of that.  Worry doesn’t help anyone.  Prayer helps.

When I went back to work on Friday, they told me the lady we were taking care of was also worried, so we didn’t let her watch the news.  She and my mom were a lot alike in that way.  I stayed with her almost a year longer, then saw that AmeriCorps had formed a Homeland Security group in this area.  I signed up for that, and was one of the first of the AmeriCorps Homeland Security pilot groups.  There were only six groups in the country, and ours began work immediately.  We ultimately won a Presidential Points of Light award for our group effort.  I learned more than I ever wanted to know about a lot of things there.  And there are still a lot of things I can’t forget, even though MS has wiped a lot of good memories out of my mind.  They told the lady I had been sitting with that I was now “helping President Bush”.  I don’t know how much I “helped” him, but I do know it was a great experience for me, and in its own way it helped me cope with that infamous day in history, 9-11-2001.never forget 9-11

 

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7 thoughts on “Where Were You?

  1. And maybe some day we’ll have answers to the multitude of questions that still remain..like, what happened to building 7. That and many other questions about that days events, will in time, be answered.

    • Maybe some have been answered and have not been publicized. Who knows with all the screcery going on in Washington these days. But we are wide open for another attack now. For some reason this country never learns from past mistakes.

      • I’ve done some homework on 9/11, especially WTC Building 7… I can say with absolute certainty that our government knew much more about the events leading up to that day,9/11. You know, the American people, the bulk of, want to believe our government is good and above any kind of activities that would injure it’s citizens, but think again. I understand talking like this makes most people angry or at the very least uncomfortable, but, do your homework. We owe it to those that died that day to get to the bottom of 9/11. I submit it is patriotic to question this government and that is not patriotic to just believe any and everything we are told. I’m no conspiracy nut or anything like that, but I can digest facts and WTC Building 7 couldn’t have just imploded as all the evidence suggests it did. Funny, most people don’t even know about WTC Building 7.. it was hardly even mentioned by anyone. Why not? All three building fell at the rate of free fall..sorry folks, but buildings don’t fall at that rate no matter how many planes hit them or fires burn in them. It’s science, and there’s no getting away from it. Later.

    • Not in our lifetimes Dale. They are just now beginning to open a few of the files on the Kennedy assination and I was a teenager then. They will never tell us everything. But the CIA and FBI knew all about 9-11 at least a year before it happened. I do know that much for certain.

      • I know..and if you remember, the Russians told us about the two brothers that set off the bomb at the marathon, last year was it? I know this sounds very cynical, but you can’t fight wars if the people aren’t all patriotic about it at home… I’m a conservative/libertarian… but I have no trouble believing our officials are no better than those in other parts of the world… the American people are kind and so forth, but power can be rationalized by those in power.. unless the laws of physics were suspended on 9/11, those planes and the men who flew them were only the diversion. Most people can’t go there because their beliefs about who they are and what we stand for won’t allow it. And that’s what makes it all possible.

      • I’m not sure the Russians want war with us any more, but the Chinese and Middle East do. Middle Easterners mostly, since China already owns us and they sure don’t want to see their big investments go down, but the mid east? They are just waiting for another chance. And our leaders are just sitting back giving them the chance, talking the talk but afraid to walk the walk.I’m not sure what I am any more. Consertive more than anything I guess. I just hate war, and my opinion is that the leaders of the countries who are at war should get out there and fight it themselves, instead of sending all the kids out to fight it for them. My sons are too old now, but my grandkids aren’t, so they are the ones who will fight and die for something they don’t even believe in. Noah just wants to raise his cattle, and only the good Lord knows what Andrew wants. They will draft the girls this time too, so Anika will have to go, and while she would fight to the death to defend her twin, she hates war. Her twin brother is ADHD and autistic, so he would be exempt, unless our feerless leader decided to play Hitler and get rid of all the people who are not able to contribute to society, so that probablly includes me. I know when I got my first power chair it was delivered within a month ofwhen it was ordered. I’ve been fighting the government for a replacement for it for almost a year now, while leaving large hunks of this one all over town. Some days, like today, I just want to give up and let it all go, and die of the headache that won’t go away this time. Don’t think I’ll be doing a blog tonight. Giving up and letting the headache and depression take over for the night. Also the fact that my sis and neice left today without even telling me goodbye. Now, there’s where you could do me a big favor. Run down to CO Springs and stick your butt in Sylvie’s face and tell her it’s from me.

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      • Oh Angie… I like you enough to do that : ) and being very ADHD myself, it wouldn’t even bother me : ) (we have no filters or social skills you know) rest.. I hate headaches.. I had two brothers visiting Colorado a few years back, going skiing.. so I bought food and took time off of work, made the place ready for them… they flew in, went skiing, and left town… never even called…soooooo.. I can feel your pain.. I can…been there. It’s a reflection on them, not you, but that doesn’t make it feel any better… good night angel.

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