A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

9/11

I know it may have been better to schedule this post on 9/11, but I didn't realize I had anything to say on the subject until later on that evening. So here it is, better late than never.

I never blogged about 9/11 because I don't know what to say. I do not know anyone who was killed that day nor have I ever lived in NYC. I basically feel like I have no authority to speak on the subject.

One thing I can do is talk about where I was on 9/11. I was a sophomore at IUP. That morning, I was in an 8:00 math class that ended at 9:00. Then I walked across campus to Cogswell (the music building) for a 9:15 class called "Class Brass". It's where we learned how to play the trumpet, French horn, trombone, and baritone.

When I got to Cogswell is when I heard about the World Trade Center being attacked. We watched some of the coverage on a tiny 13 inch television in one of the custodial closets. Classes were canceled for the rest of the day.

I remember watching coverage in my dorm room but don't have any specific memory of what I saw on the news besides of course the planes hitting and the buildings crumbling, I do remember it was very surreal to hear Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, just 60 miles from campus.

Oddly, I wasn't panicked at all, probably due to my youth. I feel like if something as catastrophic as 9/11 happened now I would be absolutely beside myself in panic. But back then, at a mere 19 years old, I wasn't overly scared.

I do remember talking to my mom on the phone and she told me if something were to happen that our whole family needed to be together, her and my dad would pick up my brothers and then drive out to IUP to get me. That's just so weird to think back on...


When a horrible tragedy happens, I wonder how I can truly honor those who lost their lives and honor the pain of the people survived. I used to watch documentaries on 9/11. I heard cockpit tapes and 911 calls... things that  would make me collapse in grief. I know what you're thinking. "Why would you listen to that stuff!!!???" I listened and watched the documentaries because I don't know what else to do to be able to understand the HORROR those people felt. Like if I somehow understood the horror, I felt like I was doing the most I could as an American to honor what they actually went through.

So Sunday was 9/11. I actually didn't see a lot of coverage because Paul was watching football. I saw a few FB postings about it but nothing else. I decided to go on Youtube to see if there was some sort of documentary I could watch- even if it was just a few minutes. Whatever my heart could take.

I couldn't take it, guys. You all know what happened that day. I caught a brief glimpse of the towers burning and I thought I was going to vomit from the pain I felt. I used to be able to watch that stuff with the appropriate amount of horror and pain, but now it just consumes me and I cannot watch it anymore.

Do you ever feel like you want or should talk about something but don't know what to say?
Are you able to watch 9/11 footage?
Where were you on 9/11?

19 comments:

  1. I remember that day all too well! When we were at the race spectating on Sunday we heard the fire truck alarms go off and afterwards we realized they were going off because that was the time the first plane crashed.
    I know this sounds crazy but I feel double the sorrow on Sept 11, because that is also the day that my first love died (my first Yellow lab). She was 16!!! I always felt guilty being so sad about my dog when so many people lost their lives that day but i've come to realize that when you lose someone/something you love, the pain is just as real. Okay sorry for the rambling.

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    1. Oh man hearing and knowing what that fire alarm represented is chilling. I have to agree with you that pain is pain and and I don't think it's weird to feel just as much sorrow about your lab passing. Was it on the actual 9/11/2001?

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  2. I had not watched the news that morning, I was in my third year of teaching. The second grade teacher of my first class of the day brought her students to the music room and asked me if I had heard what happened. At that point it wasn't known that this was a terrorist attack, it was just after the first plane hit. When she came back to get her students she was all a wreck. The world seemed very dark that day. In the evening I went to another job of accompanying a girl's choir and all of the gas stations had such long lines because of fear of dramatic price increases. I couldn't watch the news that day, My husband has a cousin that lived pretty close to ground zero. Somewhere we have a copy of a handwritten multi-paged account of that day from him. We should read it again...

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    1. Did parents come pick their kids up from school early? I asked my friends that teach here what happened and they said yes, parents were flocking to the school for their children. I can't say I don't blame them! It is natural to want to have the people you love close to you! And as for the gas, I would be just as concerned about needing it in order to drive to another city or state, depending on if more attacks were coming. Wow that handwritten note is an artifact from history! Hang onto that!

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  3. I lived in Boston, so knowing those planes came from Logan... one of my classmates lost his father on one of those planes, and the college my dad taught at had a lot of students from the tri-state area. He said it was chaos, and professors making sure students could reach their parents and know they were safe. It was hard for me to understand why, and since I was in high school vs. 2013, I feel the Boston bombing hit me harder, because I still felt protected in Boston in 2001, in a weird, 16-year-old way.

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    1. I think I felt that same protection that you did! It was totally my youth that made me feel that way.

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  4. A day I will never forget! No doubt about that. So very sad.

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  5. Isn't it weird how this tragic moments are so clear on our memories, I could tell you everything I did that morning, including every piece of clothing I was wearing. I was on my way to pick up breakfast when I saw people around a huge TV in East Halls in PSU. We saw the second plane hit the tower, and every one of us screamed, some people collapsed to the floor, others started crying. I vaguely remember the person on TV not being able to speak.

    I have a clear memory of my roommate being really cruel and insensitive about what was happening. She kept saying "That's what they get, they deserve it!" by they I think she meant Citizens of the United States. I got really angry and at and yelled at her that she was an asshole and that nobody deserved to die the way this people had been killed. I left the dorm and went to the computer lab for hours. A few hours later when I came back to my dorm, she was calmer and seem to have a better idea of what was happening. We stopped speaking to each other a few weeks after that.

    I think that growing up makes me feel things harder... I didn't cry when September 11 happened, but any shooting nowadays turns me into a hot crying mess.

    Thank you for sharing how you felt that day, it all still feels so fresh in our memory. And I'm still not able to talk to my son about it, how weird is that?

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    1. Wow, your roommate... What was her rationale for why US Citizens "got what they deserved"? I don't understand that! I am impressed you remember the clothing you wore and the breakfast you ate! I feel things more now too! Which is weird, you'd think we'd be immune after all these tragedies. I don't think it's weird you are not able to talk to your son about it. I have never talked to kids about it. I would not know what to say! I should ask my friends who are classroom teachers if they taught about Sept 11 and how they teach it.

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  6. That was really well-written. We are 3 hours behind you and I was just getting up with Jake, who was 12 months old at that time and a really early riser. Out and up here we felt a little more removed from it all but still very afraid for our so-called comfortable lives.

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    1. I was wondering what you remembered from that day!

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  7. I think I may have mentioned this to you before, but as a kid I was TERRIFIED of war. I had recurring nightmares about bombs hitting my elementary school that would leave me paralyzed in fear. When 9-11 happened it felt like a fear that I always told myself was irrational was suddenly so real. The first couple of days I didn't sleep at all. I had a TV in my bedroom and would just lay awake watching the news all night long. I was honestly too scared to sleep. What happened that day was so horrifying, and to think in other countries they live in fear every single day that something similar or worse will happen. It's devastating to think about.

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    1. Wow you put it into perspective! Some countries worry about attacks like that every day! I did not know you were so terrified of war when you were younger. I know you're worried about getting murdered. Why were you so afraid of war?

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  8. When 9/11 happened, George Bush was in my city visiting a local school. (Matt's elementary school, actually, but we were both in high school when it happened.) I was always a sensitive kid so I was immediately upset by it, and I remember watching the coverage in our school weight room and then going to homeroom and watching my friend try to get in touch with her older sister who lived in Manhattan. (She was okay.) I remember tensions being high because Bush was nearby and we thought he might be a target.

    This year I watched a documentary on the Pentagon. I feel like the WTC is covered a lot, which it should be, but I knew very little about the Pentagon plane. It was really well done and I felt like I learned a lot and paid my respects by dedicating some time to it. We also went to a memorial service this year, but I didn't think it was well done and it was much too religious and political.

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    1. I would have been nervous too if the president had been so close by. I feel like I have watched or listened to SOMETHING on the Pentagon but you are right, I believe the WTC and even Flight 93 get much more coverage.

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  9. I have watched the movies and footage from the day many times. It is hard to hold back tears. I commend all the leaders that day for trying to do what they could ad-mist the chaos...and it was chaotic!
    I am old so I working as an Instructional Asst in a classroom. The lady who ran the tech lab came and got me and we watched feed of the news on the computers. We worked with a few ladies who had relatives in the towers so they were doubled over like they were in pain...the tech lady and I prayed with these ladies before they went home. My hubby was still a city police officer at the time and Andrew was in private school in the city. Kenny went by his school and the all the kids were huddled around the screen watching coverage and the Pastor who was married to his class teacher, was there praying with all the kids. Andrew still remembers praying those trapped in the floors above the fire and was horrified to see the people jumping. I think the jumping is what is burned in my visual memory the most - it was heart breaking.
    At my school we were instructed to never speak of it, so there wasn't much discussion in the following days where I worked with the kids.
    We ended up with about 40 kids picked up early that day. People were convinced something huge was coming and a lot of kids were absent the rest of the week. It was like nothing I had ever been through.
    Sorry for the comment overload.

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    1. It's not comment overload, I am interested in knowing everyone's thoughts and what that day was like for them. What grade was Andrew in? That's sort of weird they had it on TV but then we're never allowed to talk about it. Yes the footage of people trapped and jumping... my heart can't take that at all.

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    2. Sorry, I meant the school I worked at wouldn't let us speak about it to the kids. They wanted us to give very simple answers and re-direct them if they asked us questions.
      Andrews situation at private school was completely different, they talked about the kids fears, how to handle the grief, a very different world from where I worked.
      Andrew was 11- he was in 5th gr.
      The lady I worked with had nephews that worked in the towers who made it out and walked home - like a 5 hour walk.
      We shouldn't have to process such awful things it is hard on the heart.

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