Sunday, September 11, 2011


Everyone's life changes in 10 years. That's just life.

Little boys who run through fields pretending hockey sticks are guns, turn into big boys who total their cars and worry about ACT test scores.
So everyone's life is different now than it was 10 years ago.
Kids grow up. Wrinkles appear on our once smooth faces. Our concerns about getting them to sleep in their own beds change to worries that they may be sleeping in someone else's beds.
But the attack on Sept. 11, 2001 gives us all a marker from which to measure our lives. As a culture, we'll always look back at that moment to consider what life was then and what it is now.
Our family homeschooled in 2001, so we waited for September to take a vacation to Mackinac Island, Michigan. The island doesn't allow cars. We take a ferry to it and transport our bicycles. Our kids were 9, 7 and 5 that year.
We were preparing to ride our bikes around the island on an 8-mile path. We went into the bike shop at the hotel for something and they had the television on. A plane had flown into the World Trade Center.
Reports were early and it looked like a small plane. What a terrible accident, we thought as we continued to the smooth path that stretches around the island.
By the time we completed that road and stopped in town for food and drink, life in the United States was transformed. Some people half-heartedly looked through the shops in town, but most people retreated, like we did, to their hotel rooms.
We had a family room with one sleeping room for kids and another for Earl and me. We tried to keep the kids on their side so they wouldn't see the scary images of the buildings collapsing, the smoke pouring skyward, the terrified faces of the people watching the destruction. We searched out cartoons for the kids to watch while we were unable to turn away from the carnage, the image of that one plane striking the World Trade Center over and over.
Even without cell phones, families managed to contact each other. Mom and Dad were in North Carolina. Craig and family in Texas. Kevin and family in Ohio. Everyone was safe.
We came home from our vacation a few days early. Enjoying ourselves seemed impossible.
These are the images I'll always remember from Sept. 11, 2001. The day life changed.
How about you? Where were you when you heard about the attacks?


judi said...

i remember all the confusion & uncertainty at the beginning of the day. and i recall that awful sinking feeling in my stomach when we heard it was an attack and not an accident, as first reported, and learning there were multiple planes & sites involved.

Dianne said...

I was volunteering in my son's first grade classroom. I went to the office to deliver attendance and the assistant principal, met me at the door, distraught, undone and said two words: "They're gone." Behind him a television mounted to the wall played the towers coming down in an endless loop. Parents stood around open-mouthed, some talking about family or friends who worked in the Trade Center or in New York. No one in the room had a cell phone. No one had any idea what was happening or how far it would go. It was like finding out your parents can fail, for the first time. I remember thinking, no one is safe. No one has ever been safe. Not now. Not ever.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This was a beautiful post and photos commemorating 9/11.

I am watching the 9/11 anniversary shows as I catch up with blogs tonight; very sad. Have a good week.

Linda said...

I was here in Paris. My husband called me from out of town and told me to turn on the TV. The first thing I did was call my mother. It certainly changed flying forever.

Lucia said...

I was at work. I had started at 8 am. Marina was at daycare and Todd driving his subway train. We have a tv in the kitchen at work and one of the employees came out telling everyone that a plane hit the WORLD TRADE CENTER. I went to look as I went to see what was happening I saw the second plane hit. I just wanted to go home. At noon I went up to the boiler room with one of the engineers and we stood on the roof top of 22 storey building and couldn't believe how the skies of downtown Toronto were so quiet. Not one plane! There was an eerieness to it.

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