Remembering 911 in St. Thomas, VI

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com 1-16940-1B

 

St. Thomas

 

I started this morning watching CNN and the memorials of 911.  It transported me back to that day; where I was, what I was doing, my initial observations and feelings.

I started very early, heading from Chicago to South Bend Indiana. I was the mid-Western administrator for the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Division, on my way to do training for attorneys and staff.  Oblivious, I enjoyed the drive it was a sunny, crisp, fall morning. I was focused on the road and thoughts of my presentation.

As I arrived at the federal building, the Marshals were the first to inform me the World Trade Center had been struck by a airplane. I was incredulous. When I arrived at the reception area, it became apparent; I would not be doing any training. They admitted me to the office and allowed me to watch the news reports of the plane crashing into the building. Then the broadcast of the second plane hitting came. I slowly absorbed the atrocity.  I listens to the attorney’s speculate as to who might have done this. One said he thought it was Farrakhan. I expressed my opinion  he did not have the capacity to orchestrate such a strike. My suspicions immediately went to Osama bin Laden (I was familiar with him through work). As I offered the name during the conversation, one attorney was dismissive (too far away), others conceded the possibility.

I called my boss in Chicago, a department head, normally calm, cool and collected. He was audibly and understandably upset. He instructing me not to return to the office, the Sears Towers was a potential target, I was to go home. Our offices was only blocks from the Sears Tower and not safe.

I left the Federal building, needing to collect myself. I stopped at a pancake house; life seemed to be “business as usual” around me. It seemed so strange; I wondered if these people had not heard. I started with the waitress.

“Yes” she knew. “Wasn’t it terrible, did I want coffee or tea?”  I understood, like me, overwhelmed!

 I believe it was here I learned all credit card processing was down. Of course, the financial district in New York had just been blown up. My understanding of the magnitude continued to grow.

Heading up the express way, I saw huge bat like planes cross and follow the expressway several times. Having only seen pictures, I still immediately recognized the stealth bombers.  My God, is there going to be war right here in the heartland? I knew life, for everyone, was forever changed.

 

Keep your loved ones close and cherish them.  I appreciate those who put their lives on the line for all of us everyday. Thank you one and all, military, fire fighters, police, prosecutors, investigative agents, and administrators within these agencies.

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Rainmaker
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Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Tanya Van Blake-Coleman - My most vivid memories are of the eerie silence of grounded aircraft that would normally be flying over the skies of Southern California. We lived in an air commuter corridor and only saw fighter jets flying overhead at low altitude a couple of times a day. It did feel like war.  My husband was air manager for UPS and worked at the Ontario International Airport. Big tanker trucks guarded all the entrances to the airport and the national guard was deployed to guard those entrances. Eerie is actually not powerful enough to describe our feelings.

Sep 11, 2016 09:30 AM #6
Rainmaker
615,056
Tanya Van Blake-Coleman
Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com - St Thomas, VI
Improving the Quality of Your Life

Thank you Will Hamm, Ernest Smithen,  and  Sheri Sperry for your comments. We all had unique experiences that will be with us for ever. I did not hear about the Pentagon and the other plane crashing until later in the day when I returned to Chicago.  The world changed for ever that day. 

Sep 11, 2016 10:23 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

You are so right Tanya, life and our history was forever changed on that day!

Sep 22, 2016 07:09 AM #8
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

You were very close to what was happening and it was a shock for you and all of us. Thank you for sharing your moments, Tanya.

Sep 22, 2016 01:03 PM #9
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1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Tanya, I think most of us remember thet day so vividly. It ceptured in living color in my mind. I enjoyed reading of your day on that terrible day. I am so envious of the beautiful area where you are now!

Oct 14, 2016 05:57 AM #10
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

9-1-1- was the day of my FSH test and discovering I no longer qualified for motherhood. Not that I was yearning to have a baby, but still, it was shocking news to me. How in the world did a woman who worked for the U.S. Attorney's office end up being president-elect at the board of Realtors in the Virgin Islands?? Did I miss that story?

Oct 26, 2016 08:59 AM #11
Rainmaker
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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Stopping by to thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great weekend.

Oct 26, 2016 12:20 PM #12
Rainmaker
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Tanya Van Blake-Coleman
Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com - St Thomas, VI
Improving the Quality of Your Life

Thanks so much Cybil Campbell, Debbie Reynolds, Judi Barrett, Elizabeth Weintraub and Rebecca Gaujot, for taking the time to read my blog and to leaving  comments. 

Elizabeth I understand how it would be a shock learning the results of the FSH test. It is one think if you make a concious decision but to have that option taken from you has to be a blow. 

Our lives are impacted by some many things that we have no control over. Yet we roll with the punches. 

I have not yet written my story. As with most of us, it would be a good challenge to get it all in a blog though. 

 

 

Oct 27, 2016 10:33 AM #13
Rainmaker
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Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Tanya.  That was a terrible day and one that is still painful to remember.

Nov 14, 2016 08:38 PM #14
Rainmaker
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Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Good evening Tanya Van Blake-Coleman ,  This is one of those days when we all will remember where we were and what we were doing when this disaster struck. I hope we don't have another disaster like that for a long long time.

Nov 21, 2016 12:37 PM #15
Rainmaker
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Jeff&Grace Safrin
F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate - Valparaiso, IN
SpousesSellingHousesTM

Wow Tanya - you went from Chicago winters to sunshine and warm weather year round - You were probably passing Valpo on the Indiana Tollroad or I 94 expressway when 9-11 happened! 

small world - I was watching the morning news in Valpo when it was interrupted by the tragedy...

 

Have a blessed new years!

Sincerely,

Grace

Dec 28, 2016 12:23 PM #16
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I was looking for your current blogs. I hope all is going well for you.

Happy New Year!

Jan 02, 2017 04:50 PM #17
Rainmaker
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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Stopping by to say hello and wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Jan 27, 2017 03:12 PM #18
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Tanya, that was a very sad day no one will ever forget.   Looks like you have been missing in the Rain for quite a while!  

Feb 10, 2017 05:05 AM #19
Rainmaker
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Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Thank you for sharing your perspective of that horrible day.  I can only imagine you felt connected due to your job and location to that tragedy.  I still remember standing in my living room watching the morning news, mouth wide open.  I had just returned from spending Labor Day weekend in Manhattan and have pictures of the twin towers with my girlfriends.  Two of us had celebrated birthdays.  That's an image I'll never forget.  Be safe! 

Feb 13, 2017 11:53 AM #20
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Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Tanya, That day of 9-11 was the last time I really felt safe as an American. It was a heinous act by people who do not respect or cherish life. Hope all is well for you and thanks again for stopping by my blog today!

Feb 16, 2017 06:13 PM #21
Rainmaker
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Larry Matthews
Hants Realty Limited - Halifax, NS
Larry Matthews DAC Broker and Appraiser

We all remember that day ! So many innocent lives lost. Evil personified!

Feb 28, 2017 07:16 PM #22
Rainmaker
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Don Hess
KW Elite Keller Williams 1280 Plaza Blvd. Lancaster, PA 17601 - Quarryville, PA

This caught my eye long after you posted it, but the message will always be current. We must never forget and live every day to the fullest. 

Mar 25, 2017 05:51 AM #23
Rainmaker
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Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Tanya

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on 911.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Apr 29, 2017 07:03 PM #24
Ambassador
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1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Tanya, just stopped by to check in on you.  Hope business is good. 

May 31, 2017 06:07 PM #25
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