Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Where were you?

When Kennedy was shot, I was in high school. I was home from school, sick. But not really. Just home from school. Lying on the couch and watching TV. In retrospect I wish I'd been at school with all the other kids. It was comforting to be able to share the experience with Mom, however; and we were glued to the set. But it would have been good to share it with my peers too. It did feel like we lost our innocence then. Our handsome president and his lovely family. We didn't know of any behind the scenes familial gossip in those days. We just knew that we loved the Kennedys. All of them. Their mystique, their good looks, their class, their money, their religion. Everything was glossy, and glossed over. Our hearts hurt, and still do, at the thought that Jack was murdered.

When the Challenger exploded I was driving from St. Louis to Quincy. Went to grad school in St. Louis, but lived and worked in Quincy. I heard about it on the radio station I listened to. I immediately changed to NPR and listened in horror. Had to pull off on the side of the road because I was crying so hard. What a waste of beautiful lives. I kept thinking about Christa McAuliffe, the teacher on board. And her family.

On 9/11 I was living in St. Louis and working at a Crisis Center. Was getting ready for work and watching the Today Show as always. And suddenly there it was. And things would never be the same again.

As part of my job, I debriefed some Ground Zero workers by phone. I'm still touched by their pain.

It's funny, that working in the crisis field, no one has talked about it at CPI today. I've looked at the news myriad times, but I do that anyway. Today I'm kind of numb. And it's almost like waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I cried at home before I came in to work.

What about you? Where were you on momentous occasions (if you were alive at the time)?

4 comments:

Cindy said...

I was 3(almost 4) when Kennedy was assassinated, so I dont' remember much, but do remember the paper's headlines, and my mom crying.

Joe and I both were riveted to the TV for the launch of the Challenger, as we had followed the Christy McAuliffe story line, and we in total shock and disbelief when it exploded. It is still a hard news reel to watch.

On 9-11, I was getting ready for work and a co-worker called and asked if I could bring in a small TV to work...HUH? I asked! She said, "haven't you been watching the news this morning?"..When I turned on the TV (the today show) I was in total shock...This act against the ordinary citizens of our country was notcomprehensible.
I took the TV to work and we all watched all day, over and over, and it just never seemed like it could have really happened. I was so sure 10,000 must have died, so kudo's to the hero's of 9-11 that got so many people out of the towers before they fell, and to the amazing people on flight 93 that refused to let them take any more American lives. True courage was shown that day.

So my dear Adam was born on the 20th Anniversary of JFK's death, and now he chooses to live in the City that they say is still the most likely target of future terrorist acts....I should have known on 11/22/1983 that this was going to be a boy that gives me gray hairs. Be safe sweet boy!

Jer said...

For some reason I didn't equate Adam's birthday with the day Kennedy died. I knew both dates, but never considered them together.

And I'm confident Adam will be fine. He's a survivor.

Karen Boz said...

When Kennedy was shot I was just a baby, having been born 8/14/63. But my mom still talks about that day in horror and remembers clutching me to her as she was riveted to the new reports.

I, too, had followed so much of the information leading up to the launch of the Challenger. A very good friend of my mother's had applied for and was on the long list of teachers being considered for the shuttle. Of course he never got anywhere near the final, but that made the whole thing that much more personal for me.

When the 9/11 tragedies occured I had just had shoulder surgery the week before and was home from work. I saw the first flight hit the WTC and thought it was a freak accident. I woke Jim up and told him, then went to take a shower fbefore he left for work. He came in to tell me that the 2nd tower had been it and I just couldn't believe it. One of my very best friends, Susan, works for United Airlines. I called her and we sat on the phone that day for hours not saying anything, just watching the news coverage together in utter disbelief. She lives about an hour from the Miami airport, which is where she works, and she was called and told not to come to work. She finally was brought back in 3 days later and the airports were still in total turmoil. I can't believe it has been 5 years already.

Karen

Jer said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Karen. Love you.