Where Were You on 9/11/01?

A few tears rolled down my cheek this morning as I struggled to confidently pull out of the garage for a meeting.  Driving my van, my independent transportation for 15 years, has become a challenge.  Wheelchair and seating changes in conjunction with a sleepless night shattered my plans. A few more tears and prayers, then I stopped, thankfully realizing that a new van is in the works (oh the months it takes).  My adversity is so insignificant compared to the that which transpires for others…especially on this day of remembrance.

It was the day that time stood still. A younger generation saw tragedy in a way they had never experienced.

…Everything stopped.

…People stared at television monitors and could barely make contact with the news websites.

…The airspace was cleared of all traffic.

…Then there were those who were in the thick of it. Time was moving for them too quickly. The smoke and ash darkened the morning as people ran both away and toward the disaster. Heroic rescue efforts were underway immediately. It would be a long journey. The journey still goes on.

Thank you to all who served our country that day and today. Those who risk their lives to protect us never get enough appreciation, prayers or recognition.

So as I take time to pray for those who lost loved ones during our national tragedy eleven years ago, I ponder with gratitude those who have served and who are serving our communities, states, and country. Today we offer thanks to all military and public servants who protect us and our freedom.

Let us not forget. Let us to continue to appreciate. Let us pray for our country.

I will not forget 9/11/01. It was two days after our first wedding anniversary and we were at Disney World attending a user conference for my company. This was one time I was glad that I could not travel alone because my husband went with me. He would venture out into the different Disney park venues while I worked during the day. At night we enjoyed time together and even celebrated our first anniversary in Orlando at Cirque de Soleil before that dreadful day.

On that dark morning I was in a large meeting with thousands of people. An enormous ballroom with multiple gigantic screens suddenly projected what seemed like life size CNN live stream coverage of the two towers with smoke billowing right before our eyes!

There was a sense of terror among everyone. I tried to call Brent in the hotel room then quickly made the short trip back to the room to be with him.

We glared at the television in disbelief. As the first tower crumbled I was numb.

NO. This cannot happen…Shortly it happened once again.

All Disney property quickly closed down as it was considered a potential target and people wandered around like lost children.  The theme parks were immediately evacuated. Stunned grief was Disney’s new theme.

With business meetings canceled, our conference hotel and planners fed us meals and prepared us for travel back to Atlanta and other destinations. People from all over the country struggled through the rental car shortage pairing up with strangers to get back home to hold their loved ones. Anyone who had flown had no other option.

“You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.” -Colin PowellBus arrangements were made for those of us who had no way back to our Atlanta headquarters — I believe it was the second day when we safely took a charter bus from Orlando to Atlanta.

It’s a time of our lives and our marriage that we will never forget.


“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” -President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

Where were you on 9/11/01? -Madge