Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where were you when it happened? a rerun

I posted this blog back in December 2008. I thought with the 8th anniversary of that horrendous day, I'd post it again

I don't think there is an American alive who doesn't know where he or she was and what they were doing when they heard the news about the attack on New York and Washington DC on September 11, 2001. I was driving to Kutztown, PA to my job at the restaurant my ex-husband and I owned. I was listening to Good Morning America on my car radio when Charlie Gibson reported a plane crashed into Tower 1, the North Tower of the World Trade Center. They didn't know it was intentional at that point. It wasn't long before the 2nd plane crashed into the South Tower and the world knew America was under attack. I rushed into work and put the TV on. The employees and I spent the better part of that day and indeed the rest of the week, absolutely glued to the TV, watching in horror as the government tried to get a handle on this horrific event. Our business took a major nose dive as Americans stayed in their homes, afraid to travel anywhere.

I have a friend who was in the air, flying home from France on business when the towers were hit and his flight was diverted to Canada. He somehow managed to get his hands on a car and he and a colleague drove home. It took hours to get over the Canadian border.

I knew 2 people who died that day. On the night of September 11, we got a phone call from Greg's sister, Rita. Rita's husband, Bryan had a sister named Deborah Jacobs Welsh. Debbie was the head purser on Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, PA. She was the first person to die on that flight. Debbie tried to keep the terrorists out of the cockpit and they slit her throat. What a shock it was to get that phone call! We didn't know Debbie well, but we saw her from time to time over the years when Rita would have a christening or First Communion party or something like that.

The second person I knew was Maria Behr. Mia worked as a Securities Trader at Cantor Fitzgerald in Tower 1. She is the sister of my friend, Delmi. Delmi's son was friends with my son, Tim. I remember Tim coming home from school on the 12th and telling me they can't find Max's Aunt Mia, that she worked in one of the towers. I told Tim they probably just can't get in contact with her because communication was really bad at that time. It wasn't long before we found out the awful truth, that Maria was in the Tower and that she did die that day. Mia was a beautiful, vibrant, sort of wacky woman who had so much going for her! She left this world way too soon.

Our restaurant was in a college town, and for most of that week, the place was like a ghost town. No one came out, whether they were afraid of more attacks or just glued to the TV for news. But that Saturday, we were so busy, with families... parents and their college children, coming in for lunch and dinner. You would have thought it was Parents' Weekend, but it wasn't. These kids had just gotten to school 2 weeks before and Parents' Weekend wasn't for several more weeks. It was just parents feeling the need to see their kids and spend time with them.

So that is my memory of September 11, 2001. It is a day that I will never forget. If you get a chance, visit Ground Zero in New York City. Say a prayer for those who lost their lives that day.... all the folks who were on those planes, the brave police and firefighters who entered those buildings, the people who worked in the towers, the brave military men and women who were working in the Pentagon in Washington DC. Pray for those heroic people on Flight 93 who fought the terrorists, knowing they were going to die, but realizing they must do this or many more would perish along with them. Pray for the loved ones left behind. Pray for the soldiers who are searching for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, that they find him and bring him to justice, one way or the other. Pray that something like this never happens again.


Alix said...

Great post Joanie.

I also scheduled a post for the morning.

You know, I've been to NYC four or five times since the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and it's always very emotional to make the pilgrimage to Ground Zero. If you go today, you will see a sight much the same of the past several years. Progress is very slow with raising the 9/11 memorial.

It seems such a pity. I was all for the twin beam of light which would have been in place much before now casting brilliant hues in the daylight and bright spokes of light at night.

Why is there still nothing there in remebrance?

darsden said...

Great Tribute and Wow that your knew two people Joanie. A very chilling day indeed!

Matty said...

I was driving when I heard about it on the radio.

Sally's World said...

Joanie, this is a great post and a tribute to all xxxx

Joanne said...

Joanie my thoughts are with you and your extended family today.

CaJoh said...

Unfortunately, I was at work and didn't know about it until my wife called to let me know. It wasn't until the second plane crashed into the other tower that there was a big buzz about the office. We were sent home early that day and I spent the rest of the night watching the coverage.

Thank you for sharing,