Remembering 9/11/01

I drove my route that morning like always. When the kids were safely tucked away in school and the bus parked in its spot I walked into the building at the bus barn to clock out. People were crowded around the television and I could hardly believe what I was seeing. I went home and turned the radio on (I had no tv) and heard that the towers had collapsed. I remembered my own 6th grade field trip to New York City. One of the highlights was taking the elevators 110 stories up to the roof of the World Trade Center. I tried to call my family in New York. My sister Amy was working in Manhattan at the time. After a while I got my parents on the phone and they heard from Amy and she was ok, just rattled and having a hell of a time trying to get home to New Jersey. I went back to work that afternoon. I didn’t want to but the kiddos needed to get home and I didn’t really want to be alone either. A six year old boy asked me why I was wearing all black and why I looked so sad. I said, “Because a lot of people died today.” He asked how and I told him. He asked if it was an accident and I said no, it wasn’t an accident. He said, “You mean they did it on purpose? That’s so stupid!” I agreed with him. I hadn’t thought about why this boy didn’t know about the attacks. The school probably thought it best to leave it up to the families. The boy asked and I told him.

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One thought on “Remembering 9/11/01

  1. You were right to tell him, Jimmy Joe. Kids can handle a lot more than we think they can. And they have an honest perspective. He’s right. It was really stupid.
    I did have a hell of a time getting home to New Jersey that day. I stayed in my office until 3pm and didn’t get home until after 8pm after taking a boat, buses and trains – and I only lived 8 miles outside of NYC. I saw the smoke and the lack of towers in the sky looking downtown and waited on line after line to finally embark on a “ferry ride” across the Hudson River. I believe the “ferry” was actually a dinner cruise ship – the city was recruiting anything that floated to transport people out. The last two people to board the boat were firefighters. They were covered in that horrible dust. They got on and sat on the deck of the upper floor and just held their heads in their hands. People just gathered in a circle around them, as if to protect them. The silence was eerie.
    I’d never seen such a quiet crowd of people before.
    Even more eerie was getting off the boat in Hoboken and seeing the emergency medical triage tent set up outside the train station with no one in it. Then when I finally got home and saw footage of the planes actually hitting for the first time I was in shock and watched the images over and over until early morning, when the power went out.
    There was nothing not eerie about that day.

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