Sunday, September 12, 2021


I remember that day like it was yesterday.  On my way to Pittsburgh for work, I remember hearing an NPR news story that said a small plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York.  Half an hour later I stopped to get on a conference call from my car and my boss at the time who was in Dallas, told of the carnage at the Pentagon.  Twenty minutes later I was in downtown Pittsburgh.  Ironically, it was my first visit to Pittsburgh and I was not familiar with area.  It was a lovely fall day, the windows were open in my car.  My instructions were to go to the CSX Tower, the tallest skyscraper between New York and  Chicago (that is truly what I was told).  At a stoplight, a man on a corner told me "lady get the hell out of here if you can, there's another plane out there somewhere near here. If you don't have to be here leave."  How right he was about that as Shanksville, the area where the last plane went down is only about a half hour or so east of Pittsburgh.  So I left and made the hour or so trek back home. My parents were in Canada on a trip and could not get back home. It took them almost a week to get back.  My brother-in-law was in Miami for work.  He rented a car and drove back to Atlanta. 

It was a tragic day.  So many lives were changed forever.  It was a senseless act but the country came together after that and the unity that we all felt for a period is sadly missing now.

A year after 9/11 I went to the Shanksville site for the one year anniversary event that I will never forget.  It was still so raw and fresh in our minds and there was not a huge crowd.  The site was pretty much like it was when the plane went down, the area of impact fenced off and you could see it in the distance.  A bus took us to the site from the small town and one person there took all of our information and sent us all photos from that day which I still have.  It was again, a very unified country back then.  I am glad I made that trip.


While no one I knew personally was lost that day, it still does not change the event that unfolded that Tuesday morning in early September. Those of us who experienced it have an imprint in our souls from 9/11.  May those who were lost rest in peace and may their families find solace that comes only in time.

Read this article from Reuters about two arborists who worked at the Shanksville site.

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