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Sunday, September 10, 2006

I remember......

On Septmeber 11, 2001 my husband and my 9 month old son and I were in our empty living room looking at a bunch of boxes. Most of our wordly possessions had been shipped back to American and the only things left were those that I would need while my son and I were temporarily living in New York. My husband would be in training for 4 months in Alabama. Everyone I love lives in New York. I was so very excited to be going back home for a few months to reconnect with family and friends and to show my son where his parents grew up. My neighbor at the time knocked on our door and told us to turn our (borrowed) TV on. She told me that the World Trade Towers had been hit by airplanes. She hysterically left my house and went back to her own. My husband and I thought it a far fetched story and assumed she was wrong and being very dramatic.........I turned the TV on just in time to have my whole world change. We watched as the first Tower crumbled. I had no phone. I had no way to contact my family and find out what was going on. I was living a half a world away and had no idea what to do. The base immediately locked down- I have NEVER seen anything like it in my life. I am used to M-16's greeting me and ID's being checked but I've never had my car searched, my person searched and my son searched upon entering a military installation before.....but this would be our way of life for the next week.

We were 2 days away from moving from England back to the United not only did we not have any of our belongings- not have any of our utilities- and no way to contact our families.....we had no idea when or if we could get home. I've never been so scared in my life. I have friends who work on Wallstreet. My sister lived in Manhattan. I would later find out the planes that hit the towers circled over the small town I grew up in......

Eventually we got ahold of our families- they were fine. They now knew that we were fine. We were moved into base lodging so we had a roof over our head and running water- we would be okay.

My most memorable moment during this most tragic time was grocery shopping in a British grocery store the day after and the manager came over the loud speaker and asked for a 2 minute moment of silence for America and her lost souls.....I cried. and for that I will always love England. Every store front had a sign blessing our country-showing sympathy- all of England's flags were at half mast.......they lost beloved citizens too, I know.....but the outpouring of love for America- it was amazing and heartwarming. At first my husband and I (and I imagine most of the families living overseas) felt very alone- very isolated- wanting to be home, helping.......but we were embraced by a foreign country who lifted us up on her shoulders during a very dark had its own feeling of home.

we flew home less than a week after the tragedy. I was so scared. I felt bad for a few men on our plane that were being "profiled".....they certainly looked like middle eastern men- were traveling alone and we obviously being treated differently because of their appearance. We went through a very very thorough search- and boarded the plane......we began to taxi and a man on our plane "had a nervous breakdown". He began screaming things at the middle eastern men- screaming to get off of the plane and the plane turned around. We were all ordered off of the plane to be researched- the plane researched and our luggage researched.....he was taken into custody and hopefully found peace- I don't think anyone blamed him for his reaction- we were all probably 2 minutes from insanity the end we landed safely in New York- we were home........I remember- I will never forget.


At 8:24 PM, Blogger tracy said...

What a wonderful feeling to know that in another country, they held a moment of silence.

Thanks for sharing that.


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