Navy Dads


We thought we might do something a little different this year and start a discussion area where folks could paste some "Words of Remembrance" or prayers for the lost from 9-11. We all hold dark memories from that day, but while the scope of the tragedy unfolded, we also saw the very best of America-- story after story about heroic people stepping forward and doing what Americans have done for generations....they came to volunteer and help without hesitation or question. Use this area to record your words or memories of that horrific day and offer a prayer for the lost and their families.


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I was going to be running our lab as my boss was moving to a new job...I had worked 33 straight trying to master everything and September 11 was going to be my first day off in more than a month. As a habit, when I awoke on a day off I would turn on the radio next to the bed, but for some reason I didn't feel like listening to rock and tuned into PBS....there I heard some British accents talking about a plane hitting the tower. Knowing about how odd British humor can be I remember thinking "man---that's some weird stuff to joke about this early in the day..." and shut the radio off. Shuffled out to the living room where I clicked on the TV to watch the horror of that day unfold. In retrospect, I wish it HAD been some of the odd British humor that PBS would broadcast....our world sure would be a different place than it is now. I miss the days of innocence.....
I was working as an Internet Sales Manager at a large dealership, when on the morning of 9/11 I walked into the lobby and everyone was standing around looking up at the TV screen and as I looked up to see what everyone was looking at a plane crashed into the first tower and I actually thought to myself no way is that a mistake and then when the second one happened I broke down in tears and thought oh my God we are at War on our own Land in America and I was more terrified than I had ever been. I was so fearful when hearing of other planes crashing that I thought we were being attacked accross the whole united states and I actually thouight of the movie "Red Dawn" and was trying to figure out how to save my own family! I cried for months for those who were killed. I was never the same. I remember when I sent my son on his first plane flight from Charlotte NC to Portland Oregon to stay with his Aunt and Uncle and cousin for a month for summer vacation when he was 14. It was in August . I was afraid for him and had even asked what if the pilot decided he wanted to crash the plane? I remember Howie telling me not to worry the pilot is not going to do anything like that. Well our son came home two weeks before 9-11 ! What a nightmare!! My cousin was in New Jersey on business from Washington state and was running late and got to the airport late and missed his flight!! Thank God for that!! He would not be here today if he had made that flight! So many innocent lives lost! So many heroric stories! So many who gave their lives to save others! God bless them all!!
I was at work and the guard at work sounded an alarm and told everyone over the intercom that one of the 2 towers at the world trade center had been hit. Then a few minutes later she came across the intercom and said that the other tower had just been hit. the local news was put on the safety monitor in the breakroom at work so that everyone could see what was going on on their breaks.
This attack brought back some serious memories for alot of us at work. memories of the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building just 30 minutes up the road from work and alot of the volunteer firemen and women that I work with went and helped with the worst domestic attack in American History. We could only imagine what was going on and what was happening. The pictures and the devestation brought back some aweful memories that some of us here in Oklahoma had just found a way to put to rest.
After the attempt several years earlier, in 1993, I assumed it was another vehicle device, or one concealed in a bag. It was only when I gained access to a television that the full scale of the attack became clear, and the reality hit home.

It was a day that would change people’s attitudes, and government policies, for years, perhaps even decades, to come. This was not a grudge attack against a single entity. Rather, it was an offensive on America itself and indeed, against the free world.

Yesterday marked Rosh Hashanah, known to many as the Jewish New Year. Traditionally, it marks a time of reflection. Perhaps, on this day,one day before the ninth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, we should all cast our minds back to that fateful day and remember. Remember the 3,000 souls who lost their lives, the many more thousands stricken with grief by the loss of their loved ones and lastly, but by no means least, the bravery and sacrifice of the rescue services.

We all have our own memories from 9-11, but one that is instilled in my mind is that of the spirit of Americans as they came to terms with, perhaps, their darkest hour. There was a defiance shown to an aggressor, that had probably not been seen on such a scale since World War Two, that united the entire country.

Going forward, we must remain vigilant. Those forces of evil are still out there, some closer to home than others. There are those that would destroy America, freedom and the Constitution that guides us. On this Rosh Hashanah…. remember.
I was on a business trip in Amsterdam, and took my wife along. At 3 PM Central Europe time we took a break for coffee, tea and cakes. On the way back to the chemistry lab we passed thru the lobby where several people were watching TV, with comments in Dutch. When I asked what happened, the receptionist changed the TV to BBC just in time to see the second plane hit. The wife was at the hotel watching Turner Classic Movies when my daughter called from home. She gave strict orders for the kids to stay away from shopping centers. Our group had people from around the world, and I found it interesting that they were all getting emails from home; China, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Turkey, South Africa. Argentina went on alert since they had buildings bombed the same day as the first World Trade Center bombing. We were stuck in Europe for several days before we could get a flight. I was amazed at the outpouring of support from Europeans. In stores and restaraunts we had people asking if we were Americans, and telling us how important the USA was to the world, and how sorry for America's loss. On the flight home, I stood up to stretch my legs, looked out the window and saw lower Manhattan with the smoke still billowing. Quite a site from 35,000 feet. Not long after we flew over DC, where I could see the Pentagon. When we landed in Atlanta, the customs agents were very kind and friendly, and after clearing customs, there were groups of people with 'Welcome Home' signs waving flags. For a short time America was united.
As I was watching the horror happening on tv, I knew that my youngest son was on his way to his tugboat. I called and he immediately answered "Ma, I'm ok". He had just arrived in Staten Island, and they were already putting their disaster plan into action - ferrying people out of NYC. I am a volunteer in Disaster Services, and got a call to go to a headquarters in Stamford, Ct. I cannot begin to thank all of the volunteers from around the USA that responded to NYC, DC, Pa. etc. to provide the many services that would be needed in the weeks to follow - food, medical, mental health, etc.
God Bless the families and friends affected by this awful time in history,and Bless our Military and their families. May we never see something this horrific happen in our beloved country, again.
NavyMom Jean
It was a clear day in Danville Va. One that doesn't come that often. Perhaps the first sign of autumn. Crystal clear. Truly a jewel. The air was so fresh that you just wanted to sit back and take a few deep breaths and thank God to be alive. One of those days for people that work outside that says payback for all those hot humid days of summer. I was getting ready to do some work in the stadium and the Asst. General Manager for the Braves came out and said the world trade center had an airplane hit it. I immediately thought, the building could probably take a hit from a small private plane, but he said no it was a jet. That was when the nightmare started. Nobody could work as everybody was so upset, and no one really knew what was coming down. Then the second jet which confirmed in everyones mind that this surely was no accident and what else was going to come down. The different codes on the radio. Finding out and making sure your family was safe. Certainly a day we can never forget. A grim reminder of lessons learned, but I'm not so sure that the lessons are not being forgotten. The lesson for me came maybe two weeks or so later. I was at a conference in Crystal City, Virginia not far from the Pentagon. The conference was on Greenways and Blueways not that it matters. Having lived in Northern Virginia many years, since the sixties I knew the area very well. I remember checkin at the Marriot was more than thorough and couldn't believe the number of barricades. The second night we were there we decided to go out to eat. We took the car and headed toward Arlington and the Navy Annex. There used to be a Marriott Hotel and Hot Shoppes restaurant right at the 14th street bridge in fact the restaurant sat between the north and southbound lanes. We used to ice skate at the Marriott and many Mighty Mo's were eaten at the Hot Shoppes. Adjacent to that area was salvage yards and railroad tracks. This area had been taken out but not thoroughly redeveloped. I had known a short cut through this area. Being in a city car, and taking a short cut, this was when it really struck home for me. This area had been used to take the wreckage from the attack on the Pentagon. There was a smell I'll never forget, but won't take time to describe and people working in white coveralls. Some even had masks or respirators on. Debris from the attack staged everywhere. Guards and security people. Just unbelievable. I don't know why they let us continue on, perhaps the city car, but I'm glad they did, for that scene is etched in my mind forever. A lot of times it seems like we remember the world trade center, but forget the Pentagon and the flight that never reached its target. It still makes me mad and very sad, but still not sure of what exactly should be done. I do know that the world is a very different place, and perhaps we as Americans have lost our innocence, never to be found again in our lifetimes. The USS. Cole, flight 103, past attacks on the World Trade Center, Beirut. What is it going to take. Vengeance is mine says the Lord. I'm sure he has a plan, but after 9/11, my life has never been the same, and my forgiveness factor like many others I'm sure is not what it once was. God Bless All and let not forget, infact everytime the we think of 9/11 lets all go out and do something good for somebody.
I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for adding their stories to this disucssion. As I read through these I'm reminded that all of us, in going about our daily lives, were hugely impacted by the events of that day. The acts of terror spawned by a fanactical hatred of freedom and the American way of life have impacted each and every one of us in very profound ways--- perhaps you found Christ, or a new appreciation of the military, or simply a better understanding of what it means to be an American. Thank you for sharing your memories of that terrible day. God Bless the United States of America!
I remember admiring the beautiful clear blue sky that day as I drove to work listening to NPR on the radio. All of sudden the radio went dead. When I got to work, I heard the news. We still thought it was a terrible accident, probably because of the plane that flew into the Empire State Building. I couldn't reach my children at school because my cell phone signal was gone. I knew that they would be all right,that my oldest in high school would find her brother. My husband and his brother worked in the city. I knew that my husband's trucks went to Windows on the World. What I didn't know was that Windows was the first delivery of the day. My husband was frantic trying to find his trucks. They could communicate by walkie talkie. He was busy finding places for his workers to stay for the night. I knew two of my neighbors worked in the Trade Center; one had been in the 1993 bombing so he left the building regardless of what they were being told, which many did and the other was late to work, subway pulled into the trade center station and then took off north away from the site. Later that week my husband was riding the subway and recognized a firefighter from Australia and asked him what he was doing here? to help was the answer. My husband a city kid, started to cry. All of us in New York were just so moved by the people that came from all over the country and the world to help. We celebrated our wedding anniversary that year at the end of September by going downtown to support the restaurant owners we knew so well. I never went to the site. I tried many times but I couldn't. It still seems like a bad movie. When we were on business trip to Italy at the beginning of 2002, people asked me where we were from and when I said New York, they all began to cry and hold me. Italians are like that but the Germans in our group cried too. I will never forget the day after, September 12, 2001, coming out of my Long Island home and the air was filled with ash and a smell I will never forget- I used to be able to see the Towers across the Bay from my driveway. It was never the building; most New Yorkers never liked the Towers but those people, all those people. I showed a film at my library called Vito After about a first responder- go to the website to buy it. it's very good. Also Beyond Belief, about two Boston widows who turned their grief into helping the Afghan widows. very beautiful . One more thing- never forget the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace that day- instead of God Save the Queen- they played our anthem and our flag went up instead of the Union Jack. such good will squandered. the killing is pointless and never brings peace.
You say you will ne...ver forget where you were when you heard the news On September 11, 2001. Neither will I.
I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say,
'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it OK..I am ready to go.'
I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.
I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help.
'I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said.
'Of course I will show you the way home - only believe in Me now.'
I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.
I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer.
I was with the crew as they were overtaken.
I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.
I was in Texas, Virginia, California, Michigan, Afghanistan.
I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me? I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name - though not all knew Me.
Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor.
Some sought Me with their last breath.
Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames;
'Come to Me... this way... take my hand.'
Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there.
I did not place you in the Tower that day.
You may not know why, but I do.
However, if you had been there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?
Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well.
Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are 'ready to go.'
I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.

On September 11, 2001 I watched as United 175 was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, not knowing at the time that my 41-year old brother, Daniel, and my 3-year old nephew, David, were aboard that flight. As planes continued to fall out of the sky, my first thought was concern for my 18-year old son who was in the midst of his third week of basic training in Great Lakes, Chicago, Illinois. I worried that they would send him to fight before he was fully trained. A kind commander called and reassured me that they would never send untrained sailors to war and that comforted me. My life was forever changed at 7:00 p.m. on September 11, 2001 when we received the telephone call from United Airlines confirming that my brother and nephew were on the plane and had perished.
Last week my son received his wings and is now a Naval Aviator. We melted the gold from one of my brother's chains to put into the wings.
I was at work and my lab partner received a call from his father stating a plane had hit one of the Trade Center towers. We tuned into CNN to see what was going on and a while later the 2nd plane hit the second tower. My wife and I and our two Border Collies were part of a volunteer Search and Rescue agency at the time and we were only an hour from NYC. When the first tower collapsed, I radioed our chief who said we were on "standby". I left work, made a quick stop at home to catch the news and left for a shopping trip at Home Depot. The manager there was very understanding and he had a clerk load a cart with gloves, flashlights, batteries, etc. for no charge! When I arrived home, we were called into NYC as "perimeter" response. We caravan'd from our HQ in Delaware Water Gap to Ground Zero where we attempted to stage a few times with no success due to the dangerous situation. We finally joined the long line of ambulances that ran past the piers. It seemed like hundreds of them. My wife helped unload boxes from a truck and carried them into an emergency triage center. There were no victims there, even 12 hours after the attack. Later, we were told to report to the Fire Training Academy in the Bronx for a night's rest. The next morning we were released as the FEMA teams had arrived. A few days later, our agency helped coordinate the K-9 search at the Freshkills Landfill in Staten Island and we returned with our dogs to assist in the effort. The sights and smells of our time in NYC are something I will never forget. The sounds of military jets flying over the Fire Academy while we tried to sleep in our vehicles was eery, especially since we knew no planes were allowed to be flying. It is something I hope I never have to relive.

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