Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9.11.01 - Never Forgotten, Always Remembered

Today is the 11th anniversary of September 11th 2001.  Us 20-somethings were in our first year in college to middle school when we were sitting in the class room learning about what had happen in New York, DC and PA.  As we asked our parents where they were when Kennedy was Assassinated, and our grandparents where they were when Pearl Harbor was bombed, our children will ask us where we were 9.11.01.

I remember as if it was yesterday.  I had actually just flew the weekend before, we got home the 9th from my cousin's wedding in Colorado.  I was a Senior in High School.  We we sitting in 2nd period, I was in Spanish class and I remember the principal came over the loud speaker with the "teacher code" to check their e-mails.  It was an e-mail saying that a plane had crashed into the towers.  Ms. Weber (my spanish teacher) then turned on the TV and we had watched the 2nd plane crash into the second tower right before the bell rung to go into 3rd period, which was my lunch/homeroom hour.  

I hadn't yet made it to my 3rd period class before Coach Hudson pulled me a side and asked if my mother had been working.  Not even thinking about she had been flying that day.  She then asked if I wanted to call my dad and talk to him.  (just so you know my background, my mom worked for United and was flying DC/NY to SAN/FRAN to LAX) back then.)  I guess it did not even occur to me that the planes may of been a United flight.  I just remember watching the towers being hit thinking, Oh My God, I can't believe I am watching what is going to change the history books forever.  By now I am a little freaked out about my mom.  Coach and I found my brother, who was a Sophomore, and the office had called our dad at work to see if he had known anything about my mom.  I remember them putting my dad on speaker phone in the office and him telling James and I that he did not know where she was, but she was leaving from NY to San Francisco.  He did not know what her flight number was or what time it had taken off in NY.  He said that he was on it and United knows we are looking for her and for us to try and make it through school and make it through the day.  She was not on the flight that had crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, but she was on the flight that left 25 mins before that flight did.  Her flight had made an emergency landing, since the FAA had grounded all flights right away.  For the rest of the day, we had our eyes glued to the TV's.  Parents came and picked up students, counselors were at the school to talk to students who needed help taking it all in.  I think it was around the middle of the day the chorus sang God Bless America over the loud speaker.  After going home, we were all glued to the TV for hours, days, even weeks.  I just remember that was all they showed, even MTV had a 24-hour camera on ground zero.  I didn't go to school the next day, but I did go the next few days because I thought that it would clear my mom with not knowing where my mom was.  We had friends and family calling, bring food over to my dad for us and my dad was only thinking the worse after not hearing from her for days. 
Needless to say it took about 2-3 days to find my mom and where she was.  United of course was blindsided by what had happen and was doing the best they could to  help families who were looking for loved ones and employes.  She was in Austin and did not have a way to get a hold of us.  She said that no one know what to do in the company. People were trying to call and were not going through and this was before we had national coverage on our cell phones.  She finally made it back to home after a week or so.  She did know a few flight attendant's that were on that flight.  She said that they were all staying in the same hotel that night and all went out to drinks and had planned to do it the next week they were in NYC just to catch up with each other.  She did say she was a little nervous to go back to work a week after it happen, but she knew that the Airlines and TSA were using the right force and that she felt safe.  I still feel that if anyone wanted to plan a attack on US soil all the precautions are not going to stop them and that our Nation is going a great jobs since the attacks of keeping out air-space clear and safe.

I know many people who's lives had changed due to 9-11.  Many men and women joined the arm forces because of this date and many lost their lives fighting for our freedom.  Besides remember the men and women who died in the terror attacks September 11th 2001, we should also remember the men and women who lost their lives protecting our freedom everyday and after the attacks, not just on anniversary of dates.  Please take time and say "thank you" to your local police, fire and emt's and of course any service man or women and most important veterans young and old. 


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