It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since 9/11, which is the topic of Randy’s Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge this week:
1) Today is September 11th, and the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States. Where were you, what were you doing, and how did it affect you?
As with hearing about President Kennedy’s assassination, I, like most others, remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about the attack on the Twin Towers.
It was Tuesday morning and we had been back in school for exactly one week. Those were the days when students returned to school on the Tuesday right after Labor Day Monday.
I was in my car driving to school and all that was on my mind was preparing for the parents’ attendance at Back to School Night, which was scheduled for that evening.
As usual, I listened to my favorite morning music station on the radio, but the news was on instead. The announcer was talking about some attack and fire burning. My first thought was that Israel had suffered a major attack until I heard New York mentioned.
My drive to school was only 8 minutes long and I was half way there before I heard the news.
The junior high where I worked was very modern – built in 1990 – and all the classrooms had televisions. As soon as I got there, I turned on the TV. Of course, by 6:30 a.m., all the West Coast stations were covering NYC as breaking news.
We also had telephones in all the classrooms, which could access outside lines, so I called my mother, who lived just across the water from Manhattan, to make sure she was okay.
She was, but said they could see all the smoke in New Jersey.
As students arrived, they were asking lots of questions. I don’t think anyone did much schoolwork that day. Being a junior high, students moved class to class for six periods a day. That just meant the kids asked the same questions over and over as they arrived in the next class period.
Needless to say, Back to School Night was postponed for two weeks.
When I got home after school, the TV was turned back on and I watched more news coverage. By then, we knew about the Pentagon and Flight 93.
My husband shared a story that hit close to home. He worked with a woman, Laurie, who was sent on a business trip to Washington, DC with two of her co-workers a few days before the attack.
She and her husband were huge California Angels fans and had tickets to the play off games. Because the Angels made the playoffs, she changed her flight departure to Monday, September 10 so she could attend the Tuesday game.
She and the other two men were scheduled on American Airlines #77 on Tuesday. The other men kept their reservation and that was the plane that hit the Pentagon.
The Angels literally saved Laurie’s life!
The world changed that day and not for the better. I’ll leave it at that.