My 9-11 Experience

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Affiliates

Where were you on 9-11-2001?;  the most tragic, interesting, re-defining American day.

I had flown from my home in Iowa, to Scottsdale, Arizona, for a meeting.  I was already hesitant to go on this trip, because I would be missing my son's 5th birthday.  His birthday, is 9-11.  I had promised to return home on the evening AFTER his birthday, on the 12th.  On Tuesday, September 11th, at 8am central time, I'd just gotten off the phone wishing my daughter a great day, and my son Happy Birthday!   Back home, my 10 year-old, and the little one, on his 5th birthday, were about to board the school bus.  I hung up the phone.  The terrorists struck, crashing 4 planes, into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and to a field in Pennsylvania!

A morning charity walk had been scheduled for us in the desert that day.  On that early morning walk in the desert, with the sun in the east, and the Superstition mountains in the background, we passed some school children waiting for the bus.  It began to sink in:  How would I get home?  When would I see my family?  How many days would it be?  For the first time in our lives, a war had been waged on American soil!  Our freedoms had been threatened.  One of the kids waiting on the curb in Scottsdale was playing a trombone, and his friends were laughing.  It was one of those beautiful mornings in the desert.  As those kids laughed by the busstop, the tears began pouring down my face.  I felt the humanness as they boarded that school bus right in front of me, and I lost it.  I wished I was putting MY kids on the bus back home.  That morning, America's innocence was lost.

The keynote speaker at our meeting was Dr. Bob Arnot, the NBC News correspondent and flight expert.  We had gathered in a large room, with big screen TV's, as events unfolded, with open microphones, so people could express themselves.  Bob tried to help us process what we were witnessing; moments, frozen in time.

If I was going to keep my promise to my kids, I knew it was time to act.  I took a cab to a nearby car dealer, where I met a friendly face.  He said, "Where you from?"  I said , "IOWA".  That was the magic word.  The salesman standing in front of me was a retired baseball coach from Norway, Iowa, named Bernie.  And from Bernie, I bought a very road-worthy high-mileage 1994 Dodge Spirit.  I could feel that this was one of the best decisions I had ever made.  Due to one act of terrorism, our real priorities had come into sharp focus.  By this time, I knew my 5th grader was about to learn of the events of the day at school.  I didn't know how she would take all of this.  I felt that the longer I was stranded away from home, the more difficult the uncertainty would be on my kids.  So with a smile on my face, I pulled out of Scottsdale, and I FELT GREAT!  I left Bernie behind me, and headed east for the Petrified forest, the butte country, and on to Winslow, Arizona.  As I passed the statue of Don Henley of the Eagles in Winslow, I thought of his song, which seemed to fit on this day, "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, but now those skies are threatening, this the End of the Innocence." 

Terrorists had shut down our country.  But there was one method of transportation they forgot, the American automobile.  The words, "Freedom of the American Road" took on a whole new meaning.  All along Interstate 40, flags were at half-mast.  Those big flashy neon truckstop signs read "God Bless America" and "Pray For Our Nation".  And KOMA Radio, the blowtorch AM station in Oklahoma City, was playing a recording of the Canadian Gordon Sinclair, reading his performance piece, "The American".  I'll NEVER forget that drive across the US.  There was not a single airplane in American airspace.  I shared the road with millions of Americans, all with tragedy on their minds.  Many of them had taken matters into their own hands, and they had found a way, a way home.  I travelled through Gallup, New Mexico to Overland Park, Kansas, all the way home, to Iowa.  I was never so glad to be home in my life!  I gave my kids the biggest hug ever!  I was so proud of 'em.  They were thriving!  My 10-year old daughter spotted my '94 Dodge.  She said, "Dad, you don't really like that car, do you?"  To which I replied, "I LOVE THAT CAR!"  My friend Bernie had taken good care of me!  I made it home.  I had my freedom back!  Over the next several days, we came to learn that there were hundreds if not thousands of Bernie's across the US.  Caring Americans everywhere were helping their fellow stranded but determined citizens to use good old American ingenuity to find their way home.

Don't ever count us out!  Americans ALWAYS find a way!  - Ted Burton Jacobsen, Coralville, Iowa


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Brian Foxworth SC, GA, FL, & TN Mortgage Loans
Palmetto South Mortgage - Columbia, SC

On 9-11 I was in our LO meeting. My boss's wife called his cell phone and told him to turn on the tv in the conference room. After we watched the replays of the 1st tower being hit - we saw the 2nd Tower struck by another jet.

When I was growing up (I know what you are thinking - if you have read my blog - I still haven't grown up yet) my grandfather told me he could remember where he was and what he was doing when Pearl Harbor was attacked. My Dad can tell you where he was and what he was doing when JFK was shot. Since 9-11, I understand the significance of having your patriotic cage rattled when someone attacks our country on our own soil. 

Dec 26, 2006 04:44 AM #1

 I was working at 66 John street. I was going to have a perfect nice day, I was going to have a nice ALJ Law Judge and one of the lawyers representing the tickets. We was waiting for him it was still early when we heard a loud pop noise. We weren't sure what it was at first. It was after nine and no one showed up. I was hearing lots of people screaming and crying and ambulance. still no one knew exactly what was going on. One of the hearing rooms had a Judge that had a small hand radio I then heard that a plane hit one of the building. Still no one showed up. There was lots of confusion. I called my father to see if he knew what was going on. He didn't told me I guess for not to worry me. I looked at my window and I saw lots of people looking up at something. There was people at the middle of the street and sticking out there heads out the window from across the building. All of a sudden I heard a loud rubbling noise and I saw people running from there lives. I saw the first building fall. It was an unbelievable thing to witness. I thought I was going to die. The people disappeared as if they were swollowed  up by the huge dust.

I called my father again to let him know that I was alright. I was suprised that my phone was still working. There was a smell that no matter what you do to cover your nose nothing worked. I kept going to the bathroom to wet a rag to cover my nose. I went back to my room to see how it looked. It was all dark and dust and paper all over. I heard lots of sirens and helicopter. Then I heard another rumbling noise and I saw the sencond one fell. There were lots of confusion of what was going on and what to do. When to let us out. We was almost let out before the second building fell. They told us to get out of our rooms and stay at the hearing room, which to me didn't made any sense because I saw another building fall. The waiting area was next to the rooms. Then we heard it was a terrorists attack. One of the rooms was still having a hearing while all of this was still going on. When my lawyer arrived he asked me if I wanted to have the hearing I told him no. The Judge was pregnant at the time she was very concern about her baby. She was more panicy than I was. We was finally let out at 2:30. I went into my room to look outside for the last time, to prepare myself. I called my father of what to do because there was no trains or buses running. He told me had  to walk. I had to go straight where it happened and a wind blew some of the dust on me.

I had to walk thrue china town, blecker, soho all the way to 14th street. to catch a bus to go to 125th street. There was lots of people doing the samething. I met my father there with a police car and took me home. My mother was frantic she gave me a bit hug. Ever since the attack I developed asthma, and PTSD. I have to take medicines I never had to before and I never heard the word Post Tramatic Stress. My doctor told me that I am a 9/11 survivor, I survived it but it was the way I survived it. I am now trying to get help for my PTSD. People say that I should get over it, but its not easy if it doesn't let you in dreams, smell and noise.


Jul 19, 2008 02:18 PM #2
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

We invite you back to ActiveRain in 2017.

  Much has changed since your last blog post.

  Best to you!

Jul 10, 2017 07:35 PM #3
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