September 11th, 2001

Posted: September 11, 2011 in Uncategorized
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“OH MY GOD!!!”~ America, on September 11, 2001

For those of us who can remember, this day will never be forgotten. This generation has their own “Day of Infamy”.

Not since the attack at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, had their been such a deliberate and deadly attack on U.S. soil. 

And even though this tragic event still lies fresh in the minds of every American today, the world too… will never forget.

The Internet is full of commemorative articles, blogs, and posts today. Every American has their own haunting memories of that day of where they were when they had first heard about this attack. I already have read a few of them, and they have brought me to relentless and unending tears.

I recall writing about my own experiences after the fifth anniversary, in a blog on MySpace. And now, this is the tenth. I shall do so here in this blog. Please note: that all times listed are written in the Central time zone. This is very difficult for me, so please bear with me as I recall my own experiences, thoughts, and emotions.

Where was I on September 11th, 2001?

My story will actually begin a little bit before that. On the 20th of August. That day,  I had moved from a small town in southwestern Kansas over to Austin, Texas. My sister who had been here since she decided to go to college in Texas. Had been married a few years and had previously offered to come live with her, because the town that I was living in was only populated by less than 50,000 people in the entire county. Her proposal was for me to move into a much larger city area of over 1 million people. It would give more opportunity, more chances than where I was at.

So that day in August, was a Tuesday. I had taken the bus from Garden City, Kansas to Amarillo, Texas. From there, I flew to Austin, with an hour layover in Dallas. I mention the layover because I was placed in the front row by the flight attendants and the pilot had come over the intercom and announced that this was that aircraft’s “maiden voyage”. That airplane that I was on from Dallas to Austin, had never flown with passengers. And there I was in the front row. 

From that point, I was picked up at the Austin airport and began a new life. This was three full weeks from what was about to happen to America.

The night of the 10th of September,  I had stayed awake. I was still used to chatting with friends through all hours of the night, but now that I was living with other people, I had to wait until my sister and her husband were asleep before I could do that. Mainly, I still had contacts that I was communicating with who lived on the west coast.

Sherman Oaks & Los Angeles, California… as well as Portland, Oregon. Of course it was not “late” for them as they were two hours behind. So by about 3:00 AM on the morning of the 11th, my contacts on the west coast said ‘good night’, but I did not go to sleep. I still was trying to get used to my new area and surroundings. So I decided to try and unpack a few things and re-arrange things in my bedroom. But I did not go to sleep.

By 5:00 AM I had enough of being stuck in my bedroom. I went out into the living room to watch television, but with the volume low. But of course there’s nothing on at that time of day. By 5:30 AM, I went into the kitchen to attempt to surprise my sister and her husband by making breakfast for everyone. But there really wasn’t much to deal with. I ended up slapping together this really gross & disgusting mixture of hamburger meat and rice. I thought at least it was something.

That day was going to be an important day. I had been in Texas for three full weeks, but had not left the house except for one evening. Other than that, I was pretty much stuck there to that point. 

So that is probably why I was not able to sleep. Knowing that we would be leaving that morning early to go into Austin (as my sister lived out in the country). 

I remember hearing the alarm clock go off. My brother-in-law woke up and got ready for work. I started to prepare a plate of that culinary abortion that I made. But instead he just walked through the house and out the front door and left. He never said a single word to me that morning. Just walked right out the door. And I thought, “Jerk!”. 

So in an immature effort to get revenge, I ate that plate of food that was set aside for him. Not like that proved anything. It was terrible!!!

A little later, I heard the alarm clock going off again. My sister was waking up and I was getting excited to know that we were about to leave the house soon.

I had turned on the television again, but still there was nothing. So when my sister woke up, she turned it off. Geez.. thanks.

She was late and running behind, and we had to make a few stops before we could reach her work. She was going to be holding a presentation for something that she was involved in. But had to go to the store and the post office before reaching there. Hell, I was just glad that I was getting out of the house!!

The exact and very moment that we walked out the door to leave……… the first plane struck the World Trade Center.

We did not know about it.

As we drove the long roads, my sister had her radio tuned into NPR. But the volume was turned down very low as to make it easier for her and I to talk as we rode together. Two grumpy and tired siblings arguing with each other over silly little things. We had no idea what was going on in Manhattan or anywhere else in the world.

When my sister pulled into the grocery store parking lot, she left the keys there so I could listen to the radio. I was not about to listen to NPR, so I switched it over to 101X. I needed MUSIC!!

There was no music. Only talk. But I was not paying attention to it. Then finally after so many long minutes of commercials, which I thought was weird, the radio station started to play Alient Ant Farm’s cover of “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson.  So I turned up the volume. 

But it was stopped. Interrupted. I thought to myself, “Are they having technical problems?”.

A few moments later, they had repeated their reports that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. And then suddenly another voice jumped in and reported that they just heard that a plane had hit the Pentagon in Washington D.C.!!

I heard one of them scream out, “Jesus Fucking Christ! What the hell is going on??”…… live on the air. And I thought “Ohhhhh boy, the FCC is about to hand it to you guys.” 

My sister had been gone in the store for what seemed like an eternity. My mind was not processing what I was hearing. Scattered reports all over the radio station, and they were not making any sense. Nobody really could tell what was going on. All that they knew, that airplanes were crashing into places across the country and that this was no accident. This was no mistake. And I began to realize this too.

FINALLY my sister was walking back from the store. I rolled down the window and screamed at her, “WE ARE UNDER ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.

My sister just kinda smiled at me with a look on her face like “Oh really? That’s nice.” Why wasn’t she reacting in horror and shock as I was at that very moment when I had told her?

When she got into the vehicle and was hearing what I was hearing, she snapped to where I had been for several minutes: SHOCK & HORROR. She too then realized this was not good, that this was something that was being done to us on purpose.

Our younger brother was in the military and all we could think about was “Well, he’s going to war soon I bet.”

And he did.

I knew that because of this attack that we as a nation were going to get our justice, and that meant through military force. I myself, was ready to go after the bastards who pulled this stunt. But of course they were already dead. I knew though that something or someone was behind it all and they were still alive, and I was ready to go after them!

I noticed later on that there were no airplanes in the air that morning. I kept asking my sister over and over and over again if her workplace was in downtown Austin. I begged her mercilessly NOT to take me down there as I was not sure if Austin was going to be struck by these terrorists as well.

When we arrived, there was a television turned on, and I saw the World Trade Center buildings burning. What scared me so badly was the sight of people trapped above where the planes had struck, and they were hanging out of the windows. Several thousand feet above the ground, and they were hanging on to the side of the buildings for as long as they could before they either fell or jumped.

The vision of those who fell or jumped haunt me to this day. I am unable to watch video of it or look at pictures of people who have jumped or fallen.

But because I was there for a presentation, we went on as scheduled. It was rather quick though. I honestly believe that there wasn’t a person in the room that could actually concentrate on what was going on. Their minds as well as mine, too focused on what was going on and wanting to know more.

It was not long before the television was turned back on to watch the scene still unfolding in Manhattan. More people were falling or jumping and I wondered how in the world they could allow these journalists to film this and broadcast it on LIVE television? Eventually, it would stop. I would see a person begin to fall and then the image was changed to a different viewpoint.

I recall watching from a camera on a helicopter the pouring of flame and smoke from both towers. The repetition of showing footage of the second plane hit the tower over and over again. Then go back to the inferno that was still going. I remember seeing that these buildings appeared to be swaying back and forth just a little bit. Almost undetected by the reporters.

And then they fell. The first one and then the second one. I remember seeing the second tower shake a lot just before it began to collapse, I screamed out “THERE IT GOES! THERE IT GOES!!!”.

I wondered if it was all over with. I wondered if more was coming. I wondered many more things, just like anyone else in America. Who did this to us? Why??

The reporting was non-stop. Even as we went on with our day, it was centralized around a television set. Eventually as it grew dark and nothing more had happened. I wondered how long it would be before we were announced that we were going to war. I wondered about my brother who was stationed in Germany at the time. I wondered if he was about to see more action. But I knew that we would need our justice for these cowardly attacks. I felt a burning deep down that whomever it was that had done this…. was seriously going to get theirs. I just was scared about how much of it would be delivered by my brother and his company and unit and just how much involvement he would have.

And was this going to happen again somewhere else in the morning? Or possibly even overnight??

A few days following the attacks of September 11th, I noticed an eerie absence of airplane traffic and noises overhead that would normally pass over the house every stinking day. There was nothing going on. So silent. After a while of course, that would change and airline travel would resume. 

I laid in bed that very night of the 11th, replaying the vision of the second tower being hit over and over and over and over again. It just would not stop. And then I remember thinking to myself: “I’ve only been in Texas for three weeks and this happens!”. I became even more horrified  because the thought had occured that I was on an airplane just 21 days earlier. A new one at that! It scared me to death to even begin to fathom something happening to me on that day in August. What if these attacks would have happened then? Would I have been killed? Would I have been stuck in Amarillo, Texas without anywhere to go? The thought just crushed my spirit so much. 21 Days. Three full weeks. 

The terrorists wanted to change things. They had succeeded. America lost a lot that day. And there was no real reason for it. All because a group of people who lived somewhere else far away didn’t like America.  

It was probably a couple of months after September 11th that I spoke to my brother on the telephone. And I told him to wipe out every last one of them… if he was going to be deployed. I told him to fill these people with so much lead that whatever area they were engaged with, would be a waste land. He could sense my anger and frustration. And I think he understood it as he felt the same emotions.  

With each anniversary that passes, the memories and emotions and feelings get brought up so quickly. The sorrow of loss, and the anger and contempt against those who did this. 

We have our “Day of Infamy”. We all will remember and know how to answer the question “WHERE WERE YOU ON SEPTEMBER 11TH?”. When I recalled this story five years ago on MySpace, it felt like it just had happened last week. Now that it is ten years later, it feels the same… just a little further.

MILLIONS of us will be able to recall that day and what we were doing. Many of us will share. Some of us will mourn while the rest of us will pray. And as we should pray, think about those who suffered loss directly in New York, Washington D.C., and in Shanksville. 

This nation may cry every September, but we stand strong and will not stay down whenever we fall. We will rise again and again. Each time, we will become more and more victorious in the end. 

GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!   

 

   

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