Passionate About San Diego
and the Moms Who Live Here

Remembering September 11th, My Story

September 11th, 2001

 

I am doing my best to sleep in, when I am awakened by my younger sister and a phone. I’m in an unfamiliar place, my mom just moved into her first apartment along with my two younger sisters. It was a summer of struggle after leaving my father. On September 10th, it was my mom’s birthday and she had just started to mark this year of her life, “independent” while I am about to leave in a week for my new life in Chicago.

It’s a blur of light and the phone. I grab it and it’s my boyfriend, who’s already waiting in Chicago for me. He’s in a panic, guides me to a television, and explains what’s happening or what we are seeing happen when the 2nd plane came crashing in.

I am awake! I don’t get it. The panic and realization that he is so far away is setting in and he’s just panicking that I can’t get to Chicago where him and practically all my belongings are. Wait!? What about our best friend!? He left with my boyfriend and was supposed to leave for the Air Force that day. What is happening? Our world just felt that much bigger and smaller at the same time. We reluctantly hang up and just hope to talk to each other soon. These are the days before a good cell phone, and those long distance phone calls weren’t always reliable.

The rest of the day is a blur of television repeating the same horrific events over and over. Anchors giving speculation of what is next and what could come. What places have targets that possible terrorists could want to hit next? It gets hotter as all the cloud cover is gone and all planes are grounded. Into the evening we step on to the porch for the candle light moment of silence that the Nation has planned.

Eventually, I start to process. Wait, this has to be a sign! I need to stay here and help my mom with my sisters and see that she’s on her feet. I can’t leave… I end up voicing this much and then send my future husband even further into a panic. His best friend is there with him, but it’s not me and it’s not helping. He’s scared. Not even an hour later his father is calling me begging me to still come. I decide, if my flight is cancelled I won’t go.

Luck would have it, the flight I had lined up for my move, set for September 18th, is on United. Just as I was thinking that I could have already been in the air, thank God I had booked a flight one week later! The flight turns out to be one of the few that is cancelled.

Our future Air Force friend has been held in a hotel, then returned to my husband, and then taken back again. The military decides to strengthen their ranks and he now isn’t the only one of my friends deciding to join in serving our country. Patriotism is catching.

I give in and decide, not to “give in to the terrorist” and go ahead with my plans. I reassure myself now; nothing will get through to these airplane flights.

Seven days after the fateful day, I find myself in Lindbergh Field trying to navigate our new reality of travel. I have not only the last of my belongings but my 20 pound pug with me. The veterinarian had advised me to drug him for the flight, pre-incident. So there I am all my belongs, my dog, saying good bye to my family and San Diego, my home. They are no longer allowed to come up and wait for me and my plane to leave. They aren’t allowed to help me get across the new safety checks!

“Miss, you are going to have to walk the dog across, he can’t be in the carrier.” WHAT? Ok, get this sleeping dog out of his bag across this area and back in, oh yes sooo easy. :/ Needless to say I am terrified. I manage. I get across put on my strong face and wave goodbye and just pray that TV and news speculation of The Sears Tower being the next target is wrong.

I make it safely, but land in the new world where nothing is as we remember.

remembering september 11th

We celebrate- or observe Patriot day, to recognize our service members and to remember what happened to our country on that fateful day. There were 2,977 people killed on the September 11th, 2001 attacks, and although it is not a federal holiday, putting up flags in your home and around the community is still a great way to show your support and remembrance. You can even hold your own moment of silence at 8:46 am (Eastern Standard Time) for when the first attack took place.

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2 Responses to Remembering September 11th, My Story

  1. Christelle
    Christelle September 11, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    I remember the events if that day so clearly. The same way a generation before remembers the assassination of JFK and 2 b4 Pearl Harbor. Those moments teach us much…and we will be very forget ♡♡♡♡

  2. Lori C.
    Lori C. September 11, 2017 at 7:17 am #

    I remember well. I came downstairs to see my husband and kids watching the second tower burn. The first had already fallen. Having seen tragedies and horrors unfold live, the twin towers bombing and Columbine massacre in recent memory, I turned the TV OFF. Done. My kids were not going to see this horror at their young ages of 9 and 6. I reluctantly sent them off to school and returned home to watch the coverage on TV. The skies were noticeably quiet as all planes were asked to land and further air traffic grounded. I worried that my husband’s boss and other co-workers were safe as some were scheduled to fly that day. I will never forget the sadness and somberness of the day and the following weeks as the rubble was searched and bodies recovered. I have since visited the memorials of both sites. During a private tour, I had the privilege of having a moment in the chapel located inside the Pentagon which is reserved only for family members of those lost on 9/11. I will never forget the intensity of emotion I felt, both during the event and visiting the memorials and chapel.

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