Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years...and counting

I doubt there is anyone, anywhere, in the blogosphere today who doesn't remember what took place six years ago on what appeared to be the beginning of a gorgeous, sunny day - beautiful clear blue skies overhead -certainly not an omen of what would become the backdrop of one of the most horrific events ever to unfold, certainly in our lifetime.

Just as I remember exactly where I was when JFK was shot, when Dr. King was gunned down as well as Senator Bobby Kennedy a mere two months after Dr. King, I will never forget where I was, nor my reaction either, to the news as it came over the TV screen that September morning.

I was at home, watching the Today show. It was my day off from what was to become the last gainful employment I was to have.

My younger daughter was here with me and both of us were enjoying our morning coffee, talking about this, that and the other, when the first broadcast came across on the Today show about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center tower.

By itself, the report of the first plane was a jolt to the system but then in rapid-fire reports came the news that a second plane had crashed into a tower as well as the plane hitting the Pentagon.

Now, watching that unfold, my daughter and I sat upright, both our mouths just hanging open in dumb shock and horror because you just knew there was no way something like that could have been an accidental thing. It had to have been very well planned and orchestrated.

We watched and listened as Katie Couric and Matt Lauer continued to try to bring updated reports on what happened, what was happening.

We sat, still numb, dumbstruck, and in horror as the towers both fell to the ground.

Little did we know then how horrific the attempts to rescue people from the collapse at the towers would eventually become.

I think it was two days later that I returned to work - don't recall if that morning was my first day off or the second day of my "rest period." But when I did return to work, one of the first things I did was plan out a cake I baked to put on the dessert bar of the restaurant.

It was a huge sheet cake - white - iced with white icing and using strawberries and blueberries, I made it into one big flag of the United States. It drew many comments from the customers - locals and truckers - at the plaza where I was working then as an assistant manager.

For days to come, more than I can recall, it seemed the only topic of conversation among the help at the restaurant and between the customers were the events of September 11, 2001.

One night, close to a week after this whole situation began, we got a group of guys who came into the restaurant, firefighters and emergency personnel, enroute to New York City to relieve those others who had been working non-stop at Ground Zero to find bodies, wherever, whenever possible. I don't remember exactly where this group was coming from - other than that it was someplace in Illinois -but I do remember they asked us about how many hours away they were at our stop from New York City and we told them, under normal conditions, roughly about another five, maybe six hours.

They thanked us for the information, for the service, meal and when they asked for their checks, we told them there was no charge.

It was the very least we could do to help in some very minute way to aid them as they headed off to do such a heartbreaking task as lay ahead of them.

Just as November 22, 1963, the events of April and June of 1968 will never leave my memory, so to will this day stay with me forever.

My prayers then were, and still are today, for the innocent victims of that tragedy - those on the planes, the people in the towers, the pentagon and those firemen, policemen and others who gave their all to try to be of assistance and especially too, for the families of all who died on September 11, 2001.

Heroes, every last one.


david mcmahon said...

G'day Jeni,

While you were on my blog, here I am on yours!

Six years ago it was late at night here in Australia and we heard the first news and just stayed glued to the TV until dawn.

God bless all the souls who perished on that nightmare day - and may there be some revelation that what the world really needs is peace.

Warm greetings from the other side of the world.


PS Thank you for the wonderful comment about my photography. Appreciate it, very humbly.

Shelby said...

May God bless us all.

Smalltown RN said...

Thank you for sharing your story...like everyone my heat goes out to them all....god bless....

Jo said...

I found an interesting article on autism. It is on the BBC web site so you will notice the British spelling of some words.


Did you finish your first article for the paper yet? :)

Linda said...

I will always remember the glorious blue of the sky that day - a perfect September day in so many respects that was forever shattered by terrorism and violence. I don't know about elsewhere but when we get gorgeous weather days like that around here now they are referred to as "September 11th skies". Very sad.

Thank you for sharing your memories of that day and I hope that none of us ever, ever forgets.

Theresa said...

It is a testament to the human spirit how people rallied around during the weeks following. Yes may we always have prayers for the ones who lost their lives and prayers for their families.

lattégirl said...

Oddly enough, I felt intense guilt at having slept through the events, only finding out about 40 minutes later when a phone call woke me up. I turned on the TV and hardly moved from it for the next 3 days.

I don't think the feelings of shock, horror, and sadness will ever really go away.