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September 11, 2009

9/11

A moment of seriousness, here. Today's a good day to hug the people you love, and think about the people who can't do that because of what happened eight years ago.

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I lost a cousin in that tragedy. Hugs to all of the families affected...and keep the fond memories alive.

Spot on, Dave. That's how I intend to treat this day, too. Thanks.

*Sends hugs to the keepers, contributors and enjoyers of this blog, who help to make every day a blessing*

We take a Thank You card & some "store-bought" goodies to our local Fire station every Sept. 11. Just a thought...

Hugs and love to all. Blessings to those who lost loved ones and God Bless this great country and to all who serve defending it.

It was a horrible day, the memory of which we need to carry, lest we repeat its awful lessons.

That day is truly one of the only times in my life that I can remember down to the second. As an "east coaster", I was just getting up and turned on the TV.

Those next hours are burned into my memory both visually and emotionally. I have though many times how unfortunate it is that a despicable act is one of the few times that people can come together for the good of all. The memories of what happened should certainly never be forgotten, but I feel more importantly, how we felt that day can be a powerful tool to use to try to rally together and make this a better world to live in.

To all the victims.
RIP
Peace

My wife was supposed to go to a wedding reception at Windows on the World in the WTC on Oct 1, 2001. The wedding couple was crushed when they realized that all these people who'd been working their butts off helping them plan their reception were gone in a flash.

Also have a b-i-l and his wife who were both Army folks in DC that day. The b-i-l was supposed to be in the Pentagon wing that got smashed, wasn't there because his office move was delayed. His wife was 3 blocks away and felt the impact.

I figure that's as close as I want to get. Amazing how little margin there is between lucky and not.

Like Nannie, I bring baked goodies to the local firehouse. I usually get a nice hug out of the deal (hint, hint, Siouxie).

I call this my Turn-it-around Day, trying to make this date a little nicer with tiny acts of kindness.

I am glad you mentioned this Dave. Thanks.

Will never forget that day, nor will anyone else who was here (NYC) then. I was a mile away across the river. At the post office where I stopped we were getting papers blowing directly from the Towers.

My wife's friend lost her husband, a firefighter, who left behind a one year old.

This is one of those moments in history where you will always remember where you were and what you were doing. I was at work and one of the paramedics came up and told me a plane had hit the WTC. We figured it was just a small plane that due to pilot error had hit the towers. I went back to work and he came back up to me and told me about the plane in PA. I had a bad feeling then. Then he came back and told me about the Pentagon. That's when it finally hit me we were being attacked. God Bless everyone and God Bless the USA.

This is the first time that I haven't worn a jacket and tie to the office on 9/11 since we had a catastrophic loss of facility.

http://blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/2006/09/today.html
and
http://www.davebarry.com/gg/hallowedground.htm
are unhtmled as a choice so folks can close the door if they don't want people to see tears.


How about a link to the column you wrote about Flight 93?

I had just embarked on a road trip with friends on motorcycles from Wisconsin to Nevada. We didn't even know anything had happened until we got to Kansas and the panic caught up with us. Someone told us the Trade Towers were gone and the Pentagon had (been hit too) and the bottom fell out of our world.

The surreal thing about it was that the road trip was because I was getting married in Henderson, and I was able to make it, even though the grounded flights and diversions to Canada took out a third of the guest list. Now every time I think of 9/11 I think of my wedding and every time I think of my wedding, I think of 9/11. How messed up is that?

Special thoughts go out to all of those who lost loved ones, our emergency services heroes, and members of our armed forces. My son was a student at NYU at the time and lived a block away from the towers. (Still does). He jogs every morning and would have been right near ground zero at the time. Thankfully he had left two days earlier for a semester in Argentina. I was so worried putting my baby on a plane by himself to travel so far away. Little did I know what a blessing it would turn out to be. About a week later, when he was finally able to contact his roommate, he found out that there were two feet of soot and ashes in front of his apartment door. On the 16th, the first day planes were allowed back in the air, I went to Buenos Aires on business. It happened to be his 20th birthday. We met that evening for dinner and I hugged him so hard I thought we'd both pass out. Let's hope we never forget the lessons we learned that day.

Very much messed up, Will. I proposed to my wife at Windows On The World several years earlier, so there's a very bittersweet quality to that memory for me.

Much worse, though, at the personal level is the loss of a good firefighter friend and a HS classmate, and worse still is the scale of the loss to us all.

*RIP, John and Eric*

My brother worked in the WTC, trading options on oil futures. Fortunately, he was not scheduled to go into work that day until 10:00 a.m., but we didn't find out he was safe until around 6:00 p.m.

He went up on top of his apt. bldg. in Battery Park near the WTC and saw people jumping out of the burning building. He said he heard them hit the pavement.

Very Sobering.

I remember the worst part, at least personally was being stuck at a Texaco in Kansas because we were out of gas and the gasoline truck that was supposed to resupply the gas station had not arrived and no one knew what had happened to it. We were seeing other cars arriving and the drivers were telling us that the whole state was out of gas. That turned out to be more than a slight exaggeration but at the time, we didn't even know if the Whitehouse OR the Pentagon were still standing. I had been trying to contact my family in LA for a while but the phone was out. I had this fleeting thought: "This is a damned inconvenient place to be when the country falls apart."

If anyone is interested in having a good cry, I recommend Alan Jackson's song "Where Were You."

My unconventional 9/11 experience.. watching a Nut who had threatened to bomb the Pentagon 3 weeks earlier,(complete with a Special Visit from the Secret Service).

His face turned white while watching the Pentagon get hit...

He was very lucky he was in a lock up that day! I could not resist telling him so....

EB

gfunksixxle --
I think the second link is the one you want. A lower graphics version is at http://www.davebarry.com/misccol/hallowedground.htm

"Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

Sorry, I should have credited the song. It's Alan Jackson

Thanks, Dave. I do remember going to mass the next morning before work -- the church was packed at 6:15am on a Wednesday. We sang "God Bless America" as the recessional hymn and everyone just sobbed and hugged one another, and then went off to work.

Peace to all the families, the heroes, and the everyday folks who helped put the world back together in the days and weeks that followed. I will never forget the sound of the first airplane that flew overhead here near O'Hare after regular flights resumed days later. Living near an airport, you never really notice the sound of airplanes until there are -- none. That first "back to normal" plane in the sky just brought the tears all over again.

To all on this blog, and more importantly to all that gave or lost lives, you have my prayers. Like pad and Will, I too have a wedding story related to that horrible day.

I had recently moved to Colorado, but had assured my dear friend in Tucson I was coming back on 9/15 for her wedding. She and her groom kept telling me that they didn't know if they just needed me as an usher, or would have me be a groomsman, or what. I had already decided I was driving down, so the three-day flight restriction did not affect me, but most of the bride's family was in Minnesota, and most of the groom's family was in New York. So I did sort of double duty at the wedding, since a lot of folks who were expected couldn't be there.

While serving as usher before the ceremony started, the bride's sister and family showed up and she begged me not to tell Rebecca that she and her husband and daughter waited for hours at the airport and begged and bribed people to catch the first flight out to Phoenix. Then, after taking this red-eye, they crashed at some sleazy motel in Phoenix for a few hours, dressed up for the wedding, drove the 1-1/2 to 2 hours to Tucson, to be at the wedding. I was sworn to secrecy, even though I switched roles to be a groomsman.

They formed the reception line, I saw her sister coming along, and told everyone (in sotto voce), "Get out your cameras, this will be one for the ages!!" Sure enough, Rebecca didn't even recognize her sister until she was actually shaking her hand and giving her a hug... Yeah, I think you could say that tears flowed, and forget that old maxim that "Guys don't cry." There wasn't a dry eye anywhere to be seen, (self included!) The reception was a very healing time for all.

God bless all that lost their lives, their comrades, their friends, and their loved ones, and may none of us ever forget...

"Many people rushed out of those buildings, our brave firefighters and police rushed into those buildings."

I was only a first grade kid when 9/11 happened. I can still remember being so scared and confused when I saw my teachers screaming and crying... and going home to find out. Seeing the crashes repeated on CNN and even then knowing what that meant. I still remember that. RIP to all the heroes that gave their lives that day, to save thousands of innocent people.

Think about the love inside the strength of heart
Think about the heroes saving life in the dark
Climbing higher through the fire, time was running out
Never knowing you weren't going to be coming down alive
But you still came back for me
You were strong and you believed

Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Be strong. Believe.
Be strong. Believe.

Think about the chance I never had to say
Thank you for giving up your life that day
Never fearing, only hearing voices calling out
Let it all go, the life that you know, just to bring it down alive
And you still came back for me
You were strong and you believed

Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Be strong. Believe.

(Again today, we take into our hearts and minds those who perished on this site one year ago, and also those who came to toil in the rubble to bring order out of chaos, to help us make sense of our despair)

Wanna hold my wife when I get home
Wanna tell the kids they'll never know how much I love to see them smile
Wanna make a change or two right now
Wanna live a life like you somehow
Wanna make your sacrifice worthwhile

Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Be strong. Believe.

Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Be strong. Believe.

Think about the love inside the strength of heart
Think about the heroes saving life in the dark
Think about the chance I never had to say
Thank you for giving up your life that day

(The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here)

by Yellowcard.

I worked (and still do) several miles from the Pentagon as a defense contractor and had business there upon occasion; I could see the smoke from my office. We lost a few co-workers there.

Dave's article is definitely worth a (re-)read. Thanks, Dave.

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