On the 15th Anniversary of 9-11 Do you remember where you were?
I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had to be to work at 7:00 am and had woken up late. I showered and got ready for work and the 45 mile drive into Bakersfield. My 13 year old daughter and I were living with my Mama at Lake Isabella; both Mama and Amanda were up. Amanda was getting ready for school and Mama made us breakfast. It was 6:46 am (8:46 am Eastern time) and Mama had the TV on the news. There was a breaking story about a plane hitting a building. I sat down at the table with my oatmeal and toast to watch what I thought was a new movie promotion.
However, then the news commentator talked about how some terrorists had stolen a jet plane and flew it into the North Tower of World Trade Center. I was immediately shocked and concerned, feeling that the United States was under attack. But I had to drive to work, upset and scared. I began the long drive to Bakersfield I made every weekday and was on the first set of hairpin turns, when I heard about the second jet airliner flying into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. I screamed out loud about all of the people and began to pray as the tears rolled down my face. I was at the bottom of the hill, when Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon and I felt that the White House would be next. I prayed harder. Then the South Tower fell.
I pulled up to my building and went to my office at the Internal Revenue Service in Bakersfield. I put my things down and went to our break room. Everyone was gathered there, watching the news. My boss came in and told me “they are letting everyone go home and all Federal offices are all shutting down for safety’s sake. Go home, DJ.” I heard about Flight 93, the fourth jetliner, crashing into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as I cried. I gathered my things and made the long drive back home. Then the North Tower fell.
I arrived at my Mama’s house and found out that my daughter had come home from school, because they had let her school out for the day and there was almost no traffic on the road driving back up the Kern River Canyon.
All of the United States and the world were in mourning, save the Islamic world; they were celebrating a battle we had no idea we were fighting. People were polite again with each other and patriotism was very high, as cars, trucks, boats and buildings flew the Stars and Stripes and stood when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Tears were seen in eyes young and old when singing the National Anthem. Songs were quickly written to honor the fallen in this terrible attack. Movies were made about what happened and speculation was rife about who backed these 19 young Islamic Monsters.
Young men began heading to the recruiting offices to sign up for the upcoming war, as mothers and fathers cried. Every eye was glued to the TV networks that spewed out story after heartbreaking story about the bravery of the firemen and police and some of the people, who had dragged and pulled other people down flights of stairs and to safety, sometimes even losing their own lives trying to save others.
The heartbeat of America beat more slowly in heartache as over 3,000 people who were in the World Towers attack died, 23 policemen from the New York Police Department and over 343 and firemen, trying to rescue as many people as they could. On the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon, were 23 people and 125 military and civilian personnel were killed when Flight 93 crashed into the Pentagon and 45 brave people were killed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and God only knows where they were aiming that airliner; the White House, Camp David, or the nearby nuclear facilities. Four brave passengers fought with the hijackers, until that plane flipped and plummeted 500 feet to the ground.
I was at Lake Isabella, CA and Bakersfield, CA working and living with my Mama and teenage daughter. Where were you on 9-11?