Friday, September 2, 2011

September 11, ten years later

American flag and Tournament of Roses flag taken from the porch of the Wrigley Mansion

Where were you on 9/11?  The fact that we don't even have to put a year at the end of that date speaks to the sea change that day brought to our country, and indeed the world.

Where were you?  I was sitting in the living room, waiting for my kids to be ready to be driven to school.  Gabriel had gone across the street to talk to his friend.  Suddenly, he burst in the door and said, "Mom! Do you have the TV on?  The Twin Towers were bombed!" or something like that.  Maybe he didn't use the word "bomb" but he didn't know what had happened yet, either.

I didn't believe him. I thought he was joking.  But at his insistence, I turned on the TV and saw the towers coming down again and again.

Then I went to church.  Not my church; I was working in a church at the time.  I went to work, but it was a church, and I thought there was no better place to be on that day.  We hastily planned a service for noon, one of the pastors turned off the TV after a couple hours, and we started getting the stories.

There were two men from Boston who had just settled into their hotel when they discovered that their two partners, who were coming on later flights--one on American Airlines Flight 11, the other on United Airlines Flight 175 had certainly perished at the World Trade Center.

There was the young woman, a member of the congregation on a recruiting junket for USC, who woke up in the Marriot on the WTC site and thought she was experiencing an earthquake.  She grabbed her purse, cell phone, and sandals.  When she got to the street, she realized it was much, much more than an earthquake.  Someone got her to a ferry to Staten Island, and a family there took her in for a few days.

The stories are still coming, and they are still new.

With the 10th anniversary of this infamous day coming up soon, I wrote a series of seven articles, "Remembering 9/11", on the local events related to 9/11.  Here they are:

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