My Memories From 2001

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Services for Real Estate Pros

 

 

Even though it happened six years ago, we all remember what we were doing at 8:50 that morning. Up until 9/11/2001 I always looked forward to this day....

 

 

At the time I was living in Gallway NY and working for Reserve America at the National Recreation & Reservation Services call center. The call center handled calls for camping reservations for all parks in the United States run by the Army Corps of Engineers, CA, FL, MA, NY, CT State Parks and the Boundary Waters along with taking hotel reservations for Iloveny.com. The call center was located in a small village in Upstate NY, about 2 1/2 hours north of New York City. I worked 10-2, pretty smooth hours huh?

This particular morning, I was ready for work, watching Good Morning America wrap up its morning broadcast, when either Charles Gibson or Diane Sawyer mention a small plane had flown into or hit one of the World Trade Center buildings and they went to a live shot. I stood up and walked to the TV with phone in hand..

I called my Mom and Step Dad in Phoenix and woke them up;


"Turn on your TV" I urgently told my Mom

"What channel?" Mom asked

"Doesn't matter, I've got ABC on" I told her

No sooner then she turned on her set across the country then the 2nd plane hit.
I fell to my knees and uttered two words....

"Bin Laden"

I just stared at the screen of my TV, Mom said, "I bet you're right".

We knew our country was under attack.

I stuck a blank tape in the VCR and I went to work in a daze, I didn't want to be there. I got to my station in the back of the room and waited for my first call.

Someone called out "The Pentagon's been hit!" and my heart sank even further then it already had. One of our callers was watching TV and was giving her reservation taker the information.

Then, one of the guys running the "que" behind me said "My wife just said one of the towers fell over"

I turned around looking at him in disbelief and said "What?!"

"One of the towers is gone, it fell over." he repeated

I sat there trying to comprehend what he just told me. It just didn't seem possible.

The next call came in a little while later saying the 2nd tower had fallen.

Since we had over 400 phone lines coming into our call center, our powers that be closed the center to free up the phone lines for the city of New York.

I loaded my girlfriend and two coworkers in my car to go home. My girlfriend had made me a cake, we picked that up, took the two other gals home and went to my home in the country.

I lived near some type of nuclear testing facility and there were police everywhere in the area. I got nervous when I saw that. How many more of these planes were in the air?

At some point word came in that a plane went down in Pennsylvania, was that plane supposed to attack something too?

We got to my house and turned Peter Jennings on and just stared in disbelief at the TV.

The World Trade Center buildings were gone, thick columns of black smoke pouring from where they once stood.

The Pentagon had a large gaping smoke filled hole in it.

A smoking debris scattered field in PA, was this related? It seemed to be, judging by the erratic flight path, according to Peter Jennings. All flights had been ordered out of the sky.

I won't go through the rest of the day, you all know what happened.

I ended up home the rest of the week due to an unrelated medical problem. I lay on the couch watching TV and crying for 5 days. I knew no one in the Towers, the Pentagon or on any of the planes, but I had friends who had friends that worked in the Trade Center, other people had people in the 4 separate attacks, I shed tears for all of them.

 

Stories of heroism started to emerge from each crash location. Every day people fighting to save the lives of others. People on board a plane fought to take it back, people assisting those they didn't know to safety down 80 flights of stairs. So many stories. So many lives. No, I never knew any of you, but I mourn your loss every single day.

 

To Be Continued...

 

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Rainer
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Anna Lukyanova
Century 21 Sundance Realty - Daytona Beach, FL

Lysa,

It was a sad day indeed. so many people remember what exactly they were doing when they heard the news.

It's like all the people that lived through WWII remember what they were doing when they heard the news about Pearl Harbour (or invasion of West Part of Russia in my case).

So many stories of bravery and strength...

Sep 04, 2007 08:21 AM #5
Rainer
132,170
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL

Anna, I'm not familier with the invasion of the West Part of Russia, you'll have to tell me that story some time, please? Living in Hawaii, I heard 1st account Pear Harbor stories and 40 yrs later they did remember it like yesterday.

 

Sep 04, 2007 10:24 AM #6
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Kim Murphy
Draper and Kramer - Lombard, IL
Mortgage Loans in DuPage, Kane, Cook, Lake, Will C
Lysa, I remember as if it was yesterday! I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing, as Im sure almost everyone does!  I grabbed my kids from school almost immediately.  I tried to remain cool calm and collected for them.  We went to lunch and tried to stay away from the TV.  I remember crying for days!  I also did not know anyone directly, but I cried for all of them!
Sep 04, 2007 10:32 AM #7
Rainer
132,170
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL

Kim, I vaguely remember parents trying to explain to their children that everything was going to be ok now that you mention it. I can't imagine how difficult it was for you to remain the calm adult that day, or any other parent in the US.

Sep 04, 2007 10:40 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,147,431
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
I listed and sold a house for some folks 2 years ago that had moved to Poinciana in early 2002 to get away from NY. The wife was in the tower when it was hit. She was never the same. She couldn't go back to work and was unable to keep a job after that, she was so emotionally disturbed. Her and her families life was ruined from the trauma. It was very sad. Their house in Poinciana was preforeclosure and was a total wreck. For some reason she had started collecting stray animals and had 7 dogs and 2 cats living the house. They were really nice folks but just had so many issues it was very hard to work with them. But I did end up getting their house sold. My handyman did $6,000 worth of repairs and agreed to wait to get paid at closing. I spent about $1,000 over a 3 month period giving them money for car gas and groceries. This just shows you how much the events of 9/11 affected people. 
Sep 04, 2007 10:46 AM #9
Rainer
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Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL
Bryant, Bless you for being there for them, and having the patience to be able to work with them, and the handyman too. I wonder just how many people are in the same type of situation? Interesting about the animals, I can almost see how they tie into her life, she was rescued, she felt she had to rescue.
Sep 04, 2007 10:51 AM #10
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229,396
Sarah Cooper
Real Estate Shows - Hurricane, WV

Lysa, I hit my knees and stayed there while I watched TV that day, too.  When the buildings fell, I cried.  They didn't have time to get everybody out.  They showed way too much on TV that day. 

My Little One had just started preschool and I went early to pick her up, just to be near her.  When I got there, half the parents were already there.  The rest joined us shortly.  We stood there with our fingers entwined in the  fence and just stared at our babies on the playground, shellshocked and thankful for what we still had.  

Then I went to pick up Tall One from school, just because I needed her with me, too.  When I signed her out, the sign out sheet was covered with reasons like, "I just had to hug her" and "I needed my family together."  

I remember pointing out the sky to them when we got home.  There were NO PLANES.  None.  For the next few days I couldn't quit looking at the sky and the consistent lack of planes.  

Now I tell them the stories about the heroes, and how each one of us can be one to somebody.  We don't have to wait for something like 9-11 to happen.

We need to remember together.  Thank you, Lysa.  I'll be back for part two. 

Sep 04, 2007 11:14 AM #11
Rainer
132,170
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL

Sarah, I wasn't sure if I should write this, but I can see from the comments it was the right thing. I'm glad all of you are sharing your memories too. Thank you

Sep 04, 2007 11:26 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,147,431
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Lysa, I think you are right about the animals. My comment was actually a typo..she had 22 cats living in the house!!!! The first time I went in the house I just about passed out from the stench. It was unbearable. I was amazed that it sold.
Sep 04, 2007 11:55 AM #13
Rainer
132,170
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL
Byrant, I was actually amazed that she had more dogs then cats, usually it's the other way around. Makes more sense now. I can imagine the stench was unbearable. As far as being "right" about why she took them (animals) in, it just makes sense to me.
Sep 04, 2007 12:12 PM #14
Rainmaker
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
Lysa, It is a terrible day for everyone.  And particularly sad anytime I go downtown in the City that not much has been done after all this time.  I am ashamed that there is no beautiful memorial for all the families and friends of the innocent victims.  And that the heros that really stepped in to help have health issues and had to fight for coverage.  There are injustices here and I wish they were corrected.  Thank you for sharing your story.
Sep 04, 2007 12:40 PM #15
Rainer
132,170
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL
Carol, I've heard about all this and it angers me also. Why isn't there help for these folks? Why hasn't the memorial been built? I've seen the plans. I don't get it...
Sep 04, 2007 01:03 PM #16
Rainmaker
611,816
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Lysa - I remember it like it was yesterday - I was in Lowes with a 2 month old - we were doing a home addition and Jack has left earlier that morning for the airport to fly to Chicago - I didn't know where he was and didn't hear from him until later that day - it was a defining moment in our history and in my life. He was safe but it gave me such empathy for the families who weren't so lucky.  
Sep 04, 2007 02:54 PM #17
Ambassador
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Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life
I will never forget that day, it's kind of peculiar Lysa, that certain moments make us remember time as if we were living it in the here and now.  That day defines surreal.
Sep 04, 2007 03:06 PM #18
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
This is a powerful and visceral post.  Thanks for sharing your memories.  I remember that my wife videotaped our kids that day so that they could see how small they were when 9/11 happened (they were 2 1/2 and 4 months old). 
Sep 04, 2007 06:43 PM #19
Ambassador
418,649
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Lysa, thank you for this touching and sad post.

I agree with Anna's comment about how each of us remembers exactly what we doing when we first found out .....the moment is emblazened on our souls for eternity and the moment the first plane hit, we all knew it was a major turning point for mankind.  Where it will end up, remains to be seen....

Jo 

Sep 04, 2007 11:58 PM #20
Rainer
132,170
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL

Cyndee, How petrified you must have been. I can't imagine what you were going through then. Did Jack end up in the air?

Jason, Yes it does define surreal doesn't it? I never thought of it that way. I can still feel the floor under my knees when I hit it.

Jason Crouch, That is something I would have never thought of, taping the children. Even though I have none, I wonder how many other parents thoguht of this?

Jo, Thanks for stopping by, this was a post I did struggle with, but I wanted to share it.

 

Sep 05, 2007 01:45 AM #21
Rainer
1,235
Denise Graff
Century 21 House of Realty - Marion, IL

Lysa, everytime I think about 9-11, I think of those people who were just going about a normal day; going to work, having breakfast, traveling across the country, just all the things we do without thinking. Then, in a moment, life will never be the same.  I remember getting an email about the people who were late to work that fateful morning, for whatever reason and then realizing that they had been spared but co-workers and friends that had gone on to work were no longer there.  This tragedy has affected people in so many ways and while we cannot fathom the deep pain those families feel, we, as nation have grieved for them and their losses.  I was living in CA at the time and had just turned on the tv to see the 2nd plane hit the WTC.  Then came the news of the Pentagon being hit and the plane going down in PA. I remember feeling like I was in a daze all day long, and all I wanted to do was go home!  I had flown home from IL the week before and I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be in a plane and coming to the realization that you were going to die....

 To this day and probably forever, I still see the images of 9-11 as clearly as they were 6 years ago.  Thanks, Lysa.

 

 

Sep 05, 2007 02:52 AM #22
Rainer
100,676
Cheri Smith
Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX - Cypress, TX
Realtor Prudential Gary Greene

I was 2 months away from giving birth to my youngest child who will be 6 November 7th. I was watching Good Morning America and eating my breakfast. I lost my breakfast rather quickly. I always had a weak stomache when I was pregnant!

I called my husband and tried to get him to come home but he couldn't. I was afraid Houston would be next and he was in a tall building downtown.

No one will ever forget that day. We can only try to imagine how bad it is for those who were personally effected by it. My father was killed by a drunk driver in 1979 and when trauma hits your family it always leaves a scar. When I drive on that section of the freeway in Houston where my dad was killed I still tear up. It never leaves you. It's like I relive that night again, so I try not to drive on that freeway, but it's hard because 45 pretty much takes you everywhere in Houston.

All we can do is pray that something like that never happens again.

Sep 05, 2007 03:27 AM #23
Rainer
132,170
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL

Denise, Your comment really touches a lot of different aspects of that day. The last one, being on one of those planes and knowing you were about to die. I just can't imagine. So many hero's that day... so many...

Cheri', My ex worked in the city 3 days a week, usually Tues, Weds, Thurs and was in the Towers just weeks before for a convention. For some reason he was in town that week. I can't imagine losing one of my family members like you and the rest of the world involved in 9/11 did.

Sep 05, 2007 05:23 AM #24
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