My Story. . . . .9/11/01

11Photo1It was a  Tuesday and a crystal clear fall morning, September 11, 2001.  My sixth graders were in art first period, and I was doing planning for the week. The principal  popped in and  said, “Turn on your TV!”  Seeing  the now famous images hit me like a ton of bricks, as well as disbelief. My head was swimming, filled with questions, and I was dizzy with it all.  Hurrying down to collect my class, another thought hit even closer to home.  My son and daughter-in-law live in New York.  Are they safe…out of harms way?  Neither of them worked in the WTC, but the  nature of the city and the world’s business is that people are out and about having meetings all over.   I ran to get my phone and got a busy signal!  A few minutes later, I tried again…busy …still.  This happened over and over.  These phones we had for emergencies didn’t  work when I was experiencing the biggest emergency in my life.  This was the situation with the phones for hours  because the cell tower was on the top of one of the twin towers.  There was no personal communication  available.


Parents began to come to get their kids ,as at that point, we had no details. Would there be more attacks?  Was this beginning of a huge war?  The school was called together in the church for scriptures, prayers and music.  It was comforting.  Someone told me that the reason that the phone was busy, busy. . . the cell tower was hit and down. We went through the motions and sometimes just sat quietly and still ,watching  both towers fall.I hadn’t heard a word from my son….I prayed silently.  Stories were circulated in the school of parents who were in the City for meetings that fateful day. Where were they? Were they safe?  More people to pray for.  No answers, just those dreadful pictures. . . . .


Then at 12:30 the secretary came to my room.  Chris had called….if he called , he was alive! Thank God. Both he and his wife were safe and unharmed. He had been in West Chester that morning and his wife worked in mid-town near Grand Central Station.  He was not able to call because of the trouble with the cell phones.


Later, I would hear stories, mostly from my daughter-in-law.  People in her office had noticed the second plane flying low  past their window. It was a surprise and a wonder as flights over mid-town are not allowed. Soon they found out about its dastardly mission.  She said it was announced fairly quickly that the island  of Manhattan was going on lock down. No one could leave or enter over the bridges, through the tunnels, or in the trains until it was deemed safe to travel.  Friends in the office, who lived in Manhattan, invited  others  to come to their place. Someone  noticed the senior  partner had gone into his office and locked the door.  He would not answer the questions of “What shall we do, stay or go?” When the workers left, he was still in his office, paralyzed by the situation.


Later she told me that the streets were filled with sirens, shrieking  and wailing continuously.  After a few hours, it was deemed safe to open the transportation and Demone was waiting for a train to Sleepy Hollow from Grand Central.  There was a large commotion and people started running and screaming.  Someone had yelled,  “Bomb!’ and the nervous crowd had gone crazy. It turned out that this was a hoax….can you believe anyone could be so cruel?

A cab driver, I spoke to  a few weeks later, told me he was driving that day.  He remembers the sirens, and horns honking, honking continuously.  People were using their cars as weapons slamming into others to squeeze through the nearly stopped traffic.  Cars were scrapping into the  guardrails  trying to escape. There were stories of people walking for miles, some just wandering aimlessly.

When the kids met up at home, they decided to go to the hospital and give blood. At that time, people thought it would be needed and wanted to do something.  They stood in a huge, non-moving line for 8 hours, to learn that little emergency blood was needed because of the  lack of survivors.s01_H6880853

At one point, I was struck with the question  if there had been school children on the roof. But thankfully, I remembered that it didn’t  open until 10:00 as I explained yesterday. On my way home, I went to CVS and saw the mother of a student who had gone on one of my trips to New York. We both cried with the remembrances of that wonderful trip, that she said her daughter still talked about, and the sudden, swift, horror of this day!

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President Bush had suggested that at 7 pm, people stand on their porches with a lit candle to signify “the light the US wished to shine in a dark world.” We did it, which  surprised me that my husband agreed.  He is not very emotional or sentimental, but he stood next to me with tears running down his face, holding his candle high.

Later I was lying in bed unable to sleep with all sorts of images, and words, and questions filling my brain and refusing to be turned off.  This day 90 different countries  had lost citizens just trying to do their work.  And my last grateful  thought was of Chris calling to tell me that he and Demone were safe and well. He knew, of course, that I would be worried out of my mind.  I suddenly thought of all those Mamas all over the world from 90 countries, with  almost 3000 children who  were unable to call to say, “Mom, I am alive and safe!” For ages, I remembered that daily, and would pray for comfort for those dear women. Today, I pray for them ,who have not forgotten and never will, this day when their heart was broken into pieces,  9/11/01!



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God Bless America

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, USA and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

77 Responses to My Story. . . . .9/11/01

  1. Joe says:

    Wonderful remembrance of that tragic day in history Anne. I often wonder how a day like 9-11-2001 which started out as a glorious day weather wise could have turned so tragic in such a short period of time. Thank you for your post. Namaste !


  2. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


  3. Harsha says:

    Reading this post I still feel sad..The 9/11 day was really a Black Day in History..With many people lost their life just because few mindless people had put their ridiculous theories above Humanity… 😦
    Similar incident in India if you remember 26/11 was one of them where Humanity died… 😦

    Still I pray the Innocent Departed who lost their lives RIP..


    • annetbell says:

      Yes, of course we watched it on TV. We kept wondering why the policemen in Mumbai only had sticks with which to fight. We saw the film 26/11 when we were in India. It very well done. Then we went through Mumbai by train and we walked through that very station! Brought it home to us even clearer!
      Namaste. . . .


  4. I taught in a Catholic school right across the river and saw fighter jets fly over at recess. It was so weird to hear NPR on a fuzzy secondary tower the next day when no one really knew what was happening. Luckily all of my family got out.


  5. THANK YOU for this incredible post of remembrance.


  6. Thank you for sharing your story! It brought tears to my eyes. It was a relief to read that your family was safe during a time of chaos.
    When I stood at the Memorial, it was hard to imagine all this horror that had happened there. The museum looks like a wonderful dedication, I’m looking forward to seeing it when it finally opens!


    • annetbell says:

      What a lovely comment. I have been so touched that bloggers thanking me for the post as if I have given a gift to them. Amazing! I can’t wait to see the museum hopefully next spring. Do you live in NY? Namaste


      • It’s the gift of remembrance. I remember doing the same thing as you at the end of that day. I couldn’t sleep, the images words, and questions kept running through my head. I didn’t know anyone living in NYC during that time, but I was deeply sadned by the whole thing.
        Please be sure to write a post if you visit the museum!
        Unfortunately, I don’t live in NY. Just went there for a visit.


      • annetbell says:

        This blog was just to be a journal of my time in India but my son said I might like to continue to write when I came back. He encouraged that I use a more generic name so I came up with this one. So the blog is now a little bit of lots of things. I am loving having something meaningful to do. I promise a review of the museum!
        Namaste. . . .


      • annetbell says:

        I actually took my daughter and her three children to NY last summer and we went to Memorial Plaza, and Chinatown for Dim Sum! Rode down on Mega Bus. . Lovely day!


  7. chr1 says:

    These are tough to read for me. Thanks for posting.


  8. jayantadeepa says:

    breaks my heart to read about 9/11 and see the pics. Why can’t there be peace?


  9. My brother-in-law’s brother barely made it out alive! He was on the 64th floor of the second tower. People were standing around… looking out the window pointing at flying papers in the air, after the first tower was hit.


  10. Benmo says:

    September 11, 2001. It started out as a beautiful day. Then evil stole it from us. This generation will never forget, but our grandchildren may never understand. (They most likely will suffer a similar 9/11 event in their life.) How many grandchildren from the peers of Pearl Harbor remember the “day that will live in infamy!” ? I dare to say that the only life-altering event that continues to touch people’s hearts and minds, and endured the test of time, is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ — 2013 years and counting.


    • annetbell says:

      Thank you for such a wonderful comment . You are so correct about Christ’ s crucifixion and resurrection. . . The greatest story ever told! Namaste!

      Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my post. I hope you will come again soon and often!


  11. Follygirl says:

    you touched my heart!!! thank you so much!


    • annetbell says:

      I am so glad. There are so many stories from that fateful day. Every year I was teaching, I would tell my classes. I think it is important to remember and now I have it written. Thanks for commenting! Namaste. . .


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  13. Dana S. Hugh says:

    Like many of you, I won’t forget that day! Great tribute, Annet! If someone could tell me I will be able to touch the remains of the Towers, I would say, have you lost it? But I did! A teriffic section inside of New York State Museeum, Albany! God rest their souls in peace!


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  15. Pingback: My Story. . . . .9/11/01 | The Downings' blog

  16. I live in Albania and I attend an american school. We had a minutes silence on 11th Sept. My Uncle was in america at the time although, thankfully, he was unharmed.


  17. tanaypmchothani says:

    You write amazingly well. This post is touching. Reminds me of those sad tragic moments which i came to know of much much later as I was a small kid on that tragic day


    • annetbell says:

      Thank you so much. I am glad you were touched by my writing. Have you read my posts on Mr. Modi?
      Three Flawed Politicians
      New Yorkers Have Spoken
      Mr. Modi
      M. Modi 2
      Response to Mr. Modi ? I think you have but just in case….I think you will enjoy them.
      I am very happy he is finally the candidate!


  18. jazzytower says:

    Everytime I see these images there are just tears. It was all so surreal. Good rememberance.


  19. Theresa says:

    Thank you for this. By you remembering in this post, me in mine, and countless other bloggers, we help the world to never forget. And to remind ourselves that our most terrible day was also our best day as a nation coming together and people reaching out to help.


  20. Pingback: My Story . . . . . . . . 9/11/01 | TalesAlongTheWay

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  24. says:

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  25. Micheal says:

    It is appropriate time to make som plans for the future
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    and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.
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    Liked by 1 person

    • annetbell says:

      Michael, how kind of you. Thank you. I will try to write some more. In the mean times, maybe you will find more of my posts interesting to read. Thank you for your kindness!


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  27. Pingback: Remembering 9/11/01 | TalesAlongTheWay

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