Everyone of a certain age remembers where they were when they heard the news!
For me, I was in IT, in a fairly large high school. Part of an emergency response team. We dealt with fire alarms, etc. I was also part of a team involved with a major renovation of the entire school as well as a tripling of the building. I stepped out of the Construction meeting for a quick bathroom break.
... and saw the news.
America was attacked.
I was immediately in crisis mode. I stepped back into the construction meeting and interrupted everyone, to let them know. Little did I know, that it would hit hard immediately. The construction company for our project had an office in one of the towers. They were finishing up the reconstruction of World Trade, after the 1993 car bombing of the garage underneath. Our local Project Manager knew the guys in the NYC Trade Center office.
We dealt with our local issues best we could. Mainly, it was information flow. and keeping 1500 kids, and hundreds of staff from panicking. ... and fielding hundreds of family phone calls... too.
I am not going to write out my timeline that day.
Only this... I lost a friend from high school on American 11, out of Boston. There's a memorial to him, nearby my house. his wife and two little ones long since moved away. I am sure the pressure of living in this town, with all the memories, a bit much for two little girls who needed to grow up in a normal world.
I lost a few colleagues from the event world, also on flight 11. They were working for TJXX companies.
I remember the strange eerie silence, following for days. No flights.
Indelibly imprinted on my mind, was an F15 flying high cover and one down on the deck, flying overhead. Not quite treetops, but close enough to see cockpit and the man inside. I remember seeing them turn often. Later, I would learn these planes were the only cover flying over the eastern seaboard of the US from DC to Canada.
It was a time of horrible tragedy. And amazing outpouring of graciousness and kindness. I choose to remember the people of Gander Newfoundland rather than the crazy terrorists. Imagine a tiny island town of 10,000 sees one or two large jets a week. On that day, the people landed over 40 planes, in mere hours. They housed and fed 10,000 strangers in their homes and schools and buildings, some for a week or more. Planes were parked on runways, ramps, grass, anywhere and everywhere...
I choose to remember the people of Gander Newfoundland.