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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9-11

I have just sent off a message to someone that I always send a little email to on this day. Six years ago, I worked as an executive assistant to a VP of Marketing. I was known as 'the baby sitter' because I kept an eye on, not just my boss but on his whole staff. One of the managers was a real sweetheart of a person and I had become quite close with her as we were working together on a project that was very time and energy demanding. She had finally arranged to take a few days off and visit her friends and family...in New York City. I remember that prior to her "time off' she had been so excited, talking about who she was going to see, what they were going to do and how much she missed them. The morning of 9-11, my husband called me and told me that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. I immediately went and turned on the TV in our conference room and called my boss to come in. We had numerous business contacts in NY, several of our people were traveling and either flying into or out of NY and because of our proximity to NYC, many of us had friends and family that work in the city. Within minutes, the word traveled through our company and soon the conference room was packed as we watched in horror as the "accident' became something totally different.

Caught up in watching, I forgot about everything but then the realization that "one of ours" could be in danger kicked in and I left the room and started to make phone calls to her and to the others that could have been involved. Lines were jammed and getting answers took hours. Checking itineraries and flight numbers ruled out our travelers but I still could not get through to Lisa. Concern turned into panic and it wasn't until later that evening when I finally heard something from her. She was just blocks from the World Trade Center.

She returned to work the next day but she was certainly not the same person that left for some "down time". She had several friends who worked in the Towers, she came from a town in New Jersey where most commuted into NYC to work and many of them worked in the Towers. She was, understandably, 'useless' at work and felt that she had to do something to get some answers but this project was 'her baby' and couldn't get the nerve to ask for more time off as she was still pretty new to our company and to my boss. She was having panic attacks, she was getting physically sick...she was breaking down before our eyes. I went into my boss, talked to him and then went to her and turned off her computer and told her to go.

She spent the next week in NYC working as a volunteer serving food to the rescue workers and although she didn't get the answers she was looking for on all her friends, she at least felt she was helping in some way. I do not remember the exact count of how many she knew that were lost but I know on this day, she is hurting.

The panic and concern we went through certainly pales to what she and the families and friends of the victims of that day were going through. We had our answers within the day, I cannot imagine waiting days...weeks and still not hearing. The panic that Lisa described as she was trying to get out of the city was surreal.

So on this day, I always send her a little note just to let her know that I am thinking of her, saying a prayer for everyone that this touched. Even after 6 years, there still are not any words that can be said to comfort or lessen the pain. I hope there is some comfort in knowing that 'we have not forgotten'. This horrific and unimaginable terror has extended far beyond NYC and far beyond 9-11 and the following days.

Please, on this day, take some time to remember. Remember how we came together as a country. It did not matter who was what color, who was how poor or rich, who was educated or not...nothing mattered except the fact that we had been hurt and we pulled together to worry, to mourn and to try to heal. Take some time to say a prayer, not only for the victims of that attack but for all the victims that followed fighting this war on terror, for our soldiers, for the innocent people that have been victimized in the fight, and for the world. May we learn to live in peace and to love one another despite our differences.

16 comments:

Elaine (rags2r) said...

Hi Jan, its a rainy overcaste day here, it sort of sets the tone for today, September 11th. I am sitting here at my computer with the tv on next to me, listening to them calling the names of all those people who lost their lives 6 years ago today. I was in the city that day, not far from the twin towers. I worked within walking distance of them. It was a really horrific day, those poor, poor people. The days following were surreal watching the horror on tv over and over again. When we were allowed back to the city, it was truly heartbreaking seeing all those pictures posted all over. People looking for their loved ones. My Son was involved in the clean up and I pray for his health. So yes Jan, I am remembering and my heart goes out to all those people and their families.

Pugsli said...

God bless the U.S.A.!!! May God grant us the wisdom to learn to live in a world of peace and love! May He give us the strength to love those who do not love us! May He teach us to forgive as He has forgiven us! May we never forget the tragedy of 9-11 and the unity it brought to this country!!!
God bless the U.S.A.!!!

olga9999 said...

I'm really sorry to read your friends story, and I'm really sorry about what happened this day 6 years ago. It should never have happened, but unfortunately it did and it repeated itself in other places as my country. I can only send you all American's my most sincere condolences for what happened.

Best wishes. :O)

myshante said...

thank you for sharing your own inspiring experience of this tragic day. Remembering and talking and sharing keeps all whom has been lost in this tragedy, present, . Hearing the names of these precious people humbles me so. God Bless everyone.

ida macken said...

You said it all much better than I can, God Bless ;-))

Kittenb said...

Hi sweetie, your letter was very touching, as my ex and I knew someone lost on that horrible day. I too have a hard time on this day. But I know I am not alone, even if you didnt physically know someone lost that day you can emotionally feel the loss for all. I pray that someday they will make it national day of remembrance. Let us have a day that doesnt involve candy or games, Just each other.

Linda said...

It's easy to tell that this post was written from the heart and puts into words what most of us feel on this day. You stated it very well. We'll always remember the horror of that day. Most everyone was affected by it in one way or another. It's wonderful that you write to your friend each year on this date. I hope she realizes what a wonderful, caring friend she has in you! (((HUGS))) Linda

Lisa said...

It is still so hard to get a grip on what happened that horrific day! My heart goes out to all who lost loved ones and friends six years ago. I keep the men and women that are fighting for our freedom in my prayers nightly and I thank God for what they are doing to keep us safe. I am sorry for your friend Lisa, but she is blessed to have a friend like you.

Joy said...

AMEN... it couldnt have been said any better.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Jannidee,
I too will never forget 9-11. I was sitting at my desk at work looking at my e-mails from the evening before when my boss called and said put on the tv in my room. One of the twin towers has been hit by a plane. As I stood watching there came the other plane into the towers. Not only did that affect me but later that day we found out that a friend of my oldest daughter was missing. She has gone to one of our local high schools and played some volleyball in grade school. We live in the State of Indiana miles from New York. This was her first dream job. She was just 21 years old. Through her office window she could see the statue of Liberty. May she rest in peace. God Bless us all.

Pooh Bear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pooh Bear said...

Very well put. So many people want to forget and pretend it did not happen. To do so is to make the lose of so many meaningless. I'll never forget what when and where I was when I saw it. Friends at work gathered together to remember and grieve.
Thank you for your wonderful words and wish to uplift your friend.

Josie said...

Thank you for sharing such a touching story. Although I did not personally know any of the victims of this horrific tragedy, I feel pain and heartache for each and every family member they left behind. And I pray for safety of our troops as they daily try to protect freedom.

patchas said...

I remember that day clearly. We lived in New Mexico at the time, and were getting ready to run some errands. I turned on the news right after the first tower was hit. I called my husband to come watch and we watched in horror as the second tower was struck. Then I felt the panic. My sister Elaine worked close by. I tried calling and calling and of course could not get through. As soon as she could, though, she sent an email, saying she was OK. What a relief, and thank God for the internet. To this day I am trying to talk her into leaving NY. Thank God we have not had any more attacks on our soil since that day. I pray daily for those who lost loved ones on 9-11.

pebbles7195 said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I didn't personally know anyone that was lost that day , but the hurt is still there. The Heroes and the ones lost, as well as their families are never far from my thougths and prayers.

-mo- said...

reading your words and the tears are running down my face.