With the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 this weekend, I wanted to share what I remember about September 11, 2011 because it was too close to home.
It's usually not good when your phone rings early in the morning while you are still asleep. It was my husband's sister and she said to turn on the TV. It was about 630 AM Pacific Time. Who knew what to think when we saw the images of the World Trade Center. We knew that my other sister-in-law, "RL", was supposed to leave from Washington DC that morning to return to California. RL flew a lot for her job and she had been there for a work presentation.
RL had not answered her phone so we knew she was on a plane somewhere, a plane that left from Dulles Airport. It was almost an hour that we all held our breath as watched the news. Finally, RL's husband made contact and found out that RS had safely landed in Louisville, Kentucky, as all planes were immediately instructed to land somewhere.
Here's what had happened. RL had a boarding ticket for the American Airlines Flight 77. She was supposed to be on that ill-fated flight. It was scheduled to leave Dulles Airport and go straight to Los Angeles Airport. The airline asked if anyone would be interested to get bumped off, get on a plane leaving for Chicago's O'Hare and then make a later connection with a final destination to John Wayne Airport(Orange County). RS had carry on luggage so she decided to take the offer and knew she could get some Starbucks at O'Hare while she waited for her connecting flight to Orange County.
A few things that RL has told us about the day. Her flight took off before Flight 77 so she remembers seeing the Pentagon (intact) from her plane that morning. Her plane was forced to land and all the passengers really had no idea what was going on or at least the extent of the morning happenings in New York. Everyone was questioned when they landed since really, no one knew if "that was all" the terrorists on anymore planes. RL was stranded in Louisville until flights resumed which took several days. It haunts RL to know that she was in the same boarding area/space as both the victims and terrorists. Who knows who she was standing next to. Reading the names of those who died on Flight 77 is always eerie for RL since it could have been her name in print had she not thought of Starbucks at O'Hare Airport.
If you get some free time, visit the 9/11 Memorial Website. The website has lots of photos and information. The actual memorial sits within the footprints of the World Trade Center towers. It will be dedicated this Sunday and officially open to the public on Monday.
Let's honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and celebrate who they were. Remember the families left behind with big holes in their hearts. Let's also honor those first responders and the servicemen and women who have lost their lives to defend out freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan.
10 years later, I believe that THERE IS REASON TO BELIEVE. When 9/11 occurred, I was pregnant. One month later, my daughter was born on October 11, 2001. She is also now 10 and I have lots of HOPE for her and her generation.
God Bless America!