Thursday, September 11, 2008

Question of the day~where were you when.......

the towers were hit? How did you first hear about the attack, or perhaps, more appropriately, when did you realize it wasn't just an accident?

As I drove Hunter to school this morning, the radio news was filled with talk of the attacks of September 11 2001. Hunter, then a brand new Kindergartner, has vague memories of the day while for me, memories are mostly of a sense of panic.

We were still living in the sub-division on 9-11. That particular day, I was responsible for the after school care of my nephew (6th grade) and my niece (High School Freshman), whose mother was out of town for a seminar and my neighbors 1st grader and middle schooler (whose mother was in Virginia) for the week, plus my own three. All of these children were spread out among three different schools.

I began my day much the same way I do now...get the kids off to school, rush through the "dailys" (those chores I do each morning) and then sit down at the computer with my coffee. David was on the night shift then and was sound asleep.

I was deep into genealogy research at that time and was sending out reports to our family committee for the possible publication of a written history and vaguely noticed the headline "Plane hits Twin Tower" or something like that. I went on and sent out several emails and large attachments and again, just barely noticed that the headlines were changing...until finally, finished with the emailing, I surfed on in to one of the message boards I checked daily at that time. One of the posts gave more details then those headlines I had barely paid attention to and panic hit my soul.

It was a controlled panic at first, but suddenly I realized those headlines were about a lot more then a single small plane miscalculating its flight path. I rushed to the TV and turned on the news just after they announced that a second plane had hit the towers....and just before they announced the Pentagon had been hit...... and the panic hit for real.

I immediately thought of all those children that I was responsible for and knew that I needed to make a decision quickly about whether to leave them where they were or to try to go and get them all safely home. I ran in to wake up David, who, wakened from a deep sleep, couldn't understand what I was saying to him at first. When it hit him that I was saying we were under an organized terrorist attack, he got up, went straight for the coffee pot and into the Living Room to hear the news. His calm was exactly what I needed.

About that time, I began to get the phone calls from my sister-in-law and my neighbor Kathy...and their husbands. A joint decision was made by all of us over the course of the next fifteen minutes or so to leave the children at school. We knew that the schools would have gone on lock-down and that many parents would have panicked and tried to get their children and that my joining that number would likely just mean that I sat in lines of traffic for hours. I also realized that getting the children early from school could likely increase their own fear.

David and I sat down for what would be a very, very long day. At 2:00, the first bus-load of kids began to arrive...Hunter and his cousin Jeremy came in the front door - Jeremy's first words were "we're all going to die". Hunter's face was a portrait of stress and fear. We sat them down and told them that all would be fine and then sent them into Hunter's room to play...telling them "no TV today, okay?". Then came the high schoolers....they sat with us and watched the news...finally, the lone middle-schooler came home and I could relax just a bit.

I spoke to all the parents and let them know the children were home safe and that we had it under control until their dads could get back from their own work day in the city.

Over the next few days, we heard from friends who had either been there to witness the terror or those who had friends or relatives who were there. We were all lucky that in our circle, no one lost a relative or friend. But we mourned for those we didn't know personally who had suffered a loss. We still mourn and -

We still remember~

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