Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You When The World Stood Still?

On the day school started in 2001, Richard, myself, and another retired couple of educators drove by our schools to honk good-bye in a “Na-na-na-na sort of way. Then we headed off to visit all of the western national parks and monuments.
We went to Yellowstone and then to the Black Hills to see the Presidential Heads on a Mountain. We were having a great time enjoying our new found freedom.
On September 11, we were in Cody, Wyoming. We awoke to the terrible sights on television, along with everyone else in the nation.
Our plan had been to head for Mt. Rushmore that day.
After some discussion and several emotional phone calls home, (Home! Suddenly we just wanted to be home!), we decided to proceed to our destination. We couldn’t help but think of the teachers we left behind and the children in their classes. What were they saying to them? How could they explain this? I remember how emotional it was the day the Challenger exploded. This was of a far greater scope.

With our car radio tuned to the unfolding news, we crossed into South Dakota
The sky was eerily empty.

We called our loved ones again. Daughter Martie had decided to keep our granddaughter home from school. No one seemed to know what would happen next.

As we came upon the area of Mt. Rushmore, there were armed guards at the access road. We took their picture. We soon learned that all of the monuments across the United States had been closed down. Our plans would have to change.
When Mt. Rushmore re-opened we attended the show that first night. I’m sure that the show is always wonderful, but that night! Oh my! It was emotionally charged with that ultra-patriotism that everyone had suddenly come to enjoy. Tears washed the faces of everyone in the audience as we sang, “America,” “ The Star Spangled Banner,” and “God Bless America.”

We stayed on the road for the next week. There was a different feel out there. Flags popped up on cars. People were more open and friendly. Strangers were acting like old friends. Everyone was open and raw. My hair stood on end. When I think of it now, it does still.


Suzy said...

I was at LAX, waiting to board a plane....

Beansieleigh said...

Hi Lynn.. A very moving post, this is. I remember where I was, and how shocked I was. I remember how afraid I was for my kids, and then how my heart broke for the kids who didn't HAVE parent(s) to worry for them anymore... And I'm afraid I still haven't seen as many flags as I had hoped I would see today. I just think that's a shame. ~tina

mbkatc230 said...

I was at work, and my husband called to tell me what had happened. It didn't seem real until I got home and saw those horrible images. Then it just seemed surreal. Stop by if you get a chance, I think you'll find common ground in our posts today. Kathy

Florida Sue said...

I was choosing an outfit for our wedding Anniversary. We were to see Henry the 8'th in Stratford Ontario. We did not go. I get goose bumps just remembering the shock of it. I think all of us developed a little PTSD that day. I was just so relieved that so many US aircraft were diverted to our province of Newfoundland, and that we were able to open our arms to our American brothers. We mourned together. Two nations. One mind.