Monday, September 7, 2009

Eight Years Later

I was going to wait until later in the week to write about September 11, 2001. But a note from Chatty Crone and the fact that it's been in my thoughts so much the last few days pushed up my schedule.

This is the email I sent to family and friends a week later. It shares my feelings better than anything I could write now to describe that awful time.

9/17/01 3:07 PM

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so appreciative of all the messages that I've received over the last
week. I know that many people have tried to call and were unable to get
through or unable to leave messages. Telephone and e-mail have been erratic.
I was unable to get outgoing phone service outside of Manhattan until Friday
and this is the first time that the computer has been at all cooperative for
more than fifteen minutes.This is the message I hoped to send on Wednesday

Tuesday began as the most beautiful late summer day and ended in the most
devastating tragedy. My daily subway ride takes me under the Trade Center. At
what I now know was 8:48 the train conductor announced that the train was
being delayed at 14th Street (five minute from the Trade Center) because of
"a delay." There are always delays. I had a seat, a good book, and for one
morning I wasn't even late. After a few minutes (impatient New Yorker that I
am) I switched to the express train, which goes along a somewhat different
route and emerging at Wall Street (by the Stock Exchange) I found that the
most beautiful late summer day had turned into hell. Papers and ashes flew
everywhere. The Stock Exchange is three blocks from my office and the Trade
Center is eight blocks. I ran to the office and after watching the sky turn
black twice, my colleagues and I were evacuated into a thick swirl of choking
smoke and ash. I was so fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful co-workers
during the long morning and the trek away from downtown. Somehow I made the
walk uptown and home, with not even a blister. I pray that everyone's story
would have ended as well as mine. Heartbreakingly, we know that is not the

Thank you. Thank you for your calls, your e-mail, your prayers, your thoughts
and well wishes. Please know that we are persevering. Please, know, too, how
profoundly grateful I am for your encouragement and affection.

With love and prayers for peace
From the perspective of 2009 I continue to thank all of you around the country who prayed for us,
and sent assistance to New York. You will always have my gratitude for all it meant to us in the days 
and weeks following September 11.


roy/elisabeth dean said...

WOW! Beautifully said. I have no other words~

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Buttercup!
I had no idea, but it must have been so frightening. Our world as we know it, the safe haven we had always thought was here, the reality hit us at that moment. There is no safe place. We are all vulnerable. I thank God every day for the wonderful men and women who put their lives on the line, to go and help look for survivors. I thank God for the wonderful people like you who lived to share your stories with each of us. We are all a country and together that is what we need to do, Share and Care for each other. Stand together as it was meant to be. I have my flag flying always this week of the 11th. It is a rememberance of those we lost that day, and out of respect for their families. Thank you for sharing this beautiful day Buttercup. I so appreciate it. Country hugs and love sweetie, Sherry

~Kristen~ said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story ... it must have been so frightening for you and your family with all the confusion and fear. I was living and working in Lk. Placid at the time and we were hosting a conference at our hotel full of bankers. Most of them either worked in the World Trade Center or worked with people from there. It was a morning full of fear and shock ... then came the news that it was terroists and that they could be targeting where I lived because we were in a sight of two Olympics.

I thank all of the soldiers and volunteers who went to NY to help people like you. I also like to thank the locals in the city who survived and won't let us forget what it's all about ... pride and respect and stand together and careing.

blushing rose said...

An in-law was in the tower when it was bombed, her tales of horror are beyond belief that she witnessed ... an in-law was in-flight to LA when his plane was grounded in seconds from the skies ... God bless all those that fought valiantly to save our citizens that day, & everyday or our lives.

TTFN ~Marydon

k and c's mom said...

Thank you for sharing this. Even as years have passed, I know it does not get any easier for you to talk about it. I was thousands of miles away teaching a classroom of third graders and trying to keep a smile on my face for them. I cannot even begin to imagine your reality. Blessings on you, friend.

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Good gravy, I never even considered that maybe you had been so close to the awful devastation. Your letter is very moving.

Neabear said...

Thank you for sharing this. On that day I was getting ready to go to my fieldwork experience that was the last of my schooling to get an Occupational Therapy Assistant degree. I saw on TV what was happening. I went to my fieldwork location which was at a State Prison. When I got there I found out the prison was on lockdown. I often wonder if all the prisons in the US were on lockdown that day. Since the prisoners were not allowed out of their cells, we in the OT department, could not do anything. We sat around and watch whatever TV was available to keep abreast of what was happening there. Eventualy they let the prisoners were allowed out of their cells and we were able to do our afternoon session.

Mimi said...

Only you can share a story as touching as that one, as you experienced it first hand, all of us from our tv's, still very scary but not running for your life scary!!!God Bless you NEW YORKERS for your perseverence to go on every day after that knowing how scary and sad this city was for many weeks after.I always hate reliving that day and as 9-11 is near it makes me sad just thinking about it again.
God Bless you my dear friend

Chatty Crone said...

You know when i started reading your blog I didn't put two and two together. But as Ikept reading your blog and 9-11 was approaching I felt shock realizing that you had to go through that.

I hope it is a day that no one ever forget. Our freedom was paid with a high price.

I am glad you were okay and so sorry you had to go through that.