Tameka's Blog Header Good for the Soul

I was at work.  I had only just gotten there.  My coffee was still hot when a coworker, who was perusing the Internet, saw a shocking news post.   One of the Twin Towers was hit by an airplane.

We knew that the secretary of an attorney, who rents from our office, had a small television at her desk. Most of the staff ran to her desk so we could watch everything unfold on the news.   How sad, we thought; one of the engines must have failed, the pilot must’ve gotten sick.   Our bosses has joined us to see what was going on (mind you, the television set she had couldn’t have been more than 9 inches).  Just as our boss was going to tell us to go back to our desks, right before our eyes, the second plane hit the second tower.  At that moment, we came to the harsh realization that this was no engine failure.   Our boss immediately directed everyone to shut off their computers and go home.

A co-worker who lived in Long Island offered me a ride home since she had to get on the highway anyway.   The VanWyck expressway was eerily empty.   She came up the ramp on my exit and I told her I would get out there so she could jump back on the highway.  The walk could not have been longer to get to my 6 month old even though it was only 5 blocks.   I chatted with the babysitter for a little bit before putting my son in the stroller to pick up my older son from pre-school another 10 blocks away, but only 1 block from my home.   We got home and my mother was sitting in the kitchen watching the news unfold.  Then it happened.  As I was taking off the baby’s jacket, on live television, the first tower crumbled as if it were nothing.  Just a plume of grey smog was left. We started seeing news of other hijackings around the country.  Though only 5 minutes from JFK airport, the skies were completely silent as all air traffic was grounded.

I need not relive the horrors of what we would learn via the news.   I just remember being increasing grateful.  For many reasons.   You see the only reason my mother was home was because it was her last day of vacation.  Her trip had ended early so she was home the previous day “doing nothing”.  That night she said she was going to go into work the following day.  I said “Oh Ma!  You already have the day off, just sit back and relax.  Enjoy your time off.”  She insisted that she would go into work the following day.  September 11, 2001.  For some reason, when she woke up the morning of September 11th, she decided she would take my advice and stay home.  I was thankful and grateful that some voice inside her convinced her to stay home.  Her office was just 2 blocks away on Church Street.  Transportation was crippled, bridges were closed, her coworkers had to walk hours and hours to get home.  Many of them lived much closer than she did.  Her staying home that day was one small blessing in the middle all of the destruction. Her office would remain closed for several weeks.

So many friends and family worked in Manhattan.  It was excruciating waiting to hear from everyone to make sure they were okay.  I remember feeling so scared, like many other Americans.  Even after the President addressed the nation, I was still worried because I could see in his eyes that he was worried too.  However, I was reassured that America would prevail.

I recently read that this September would welcome the first group of High School students that would learn about 9/11 as purely a historical event.  They were not alive when it happened.  I could not help but think, after all these years, I remember every detail as if it were yesterday.  It’s hard to think of it as history.  I am sure you all can remember exactly where you were, what you were doing, who you were with and how you felt on that fateful day.   Have you told your story?  Have you preserved these details for our future generations?  Pictures are not needed.  Somethings you never forget. You can remember every detail.  It is important to pass on your perspective.

God bless.





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9 Responses to Blog: Where were you?

  1. lbisset says:

    September 11 is always a bad day for me. I always feel sad, weepy, and down. I was watching TV in that morning while getting ready for work-saw the planes… I was driving when the first tower fell, listening to the radio so intently that I almost had an accident, not noticing that a car was turning in front of me. I barely averted; we were both saved. I guess there had already been too much sorrow to have any more. Tomorrow I will be better.

  2. sistersunshine says:

    Meka, Peace & Joy, I was in my husband pick-up taking my son to the dentist. We had just arrived (late of course) I told him to hurry in while I parked the truck. My hubby had been on my case for not ejecting the CD from the player when I parked my vehicle, so the couple of extra seconds I needed to do that allowed me to catch a report of a plane that ‘crashed near the pentagon’ on the radio… I was stunned… I tried to find out more, but also knew I needed to follow my son into the dentist office. Once inside… every channel of every TV and radio was tuned to the stories… behind the desk it was chaos… with people trying to call loved ones that they knew… it was then I saw the towers come down…and life as I knew it was over… our world changed… MY WORLD CHANGED… and the innocence of youth was gone… Yup I have a traditional album I have done, and I have continued it in digital format… scanning my traditional pages and adding more as the impact of this event that only BEGAN on that day continues in our lives. *U* Kathleen who totally gathered her ‘chicks’ close that day and realized with a growing horror that with 6 sons I would very likely be sending them off to war… thankfully the only one of our sons that was able to serve was able to return from Iraq wounded but alive. Not all mothers had that blessing. Hug you kids today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

    • Tameka says:

      That was another sad reality Kathleen. Thankfully, by boys were way too young for me to worry about them going to war anytime soon, but I could imagine having sons of age, many of whom would want to fight for their country….but a mom will always be overprotective mom…Just the thought of having to send them off is scary. I commend all who had to go through it.

  3. Karen says:

    911 will leave an impression on everyone old enough to remember, very much like where were you when JFK was shot and when the “Peoples” Princess died. My son was in the Canadian Military Reserves at the time and called me at work to say he needed a ride to the Guelph Armories and did not know where he was going, if he was going or when he would be back but he thought he would be sent to the Canadian/US border. Nothing much got done in our office that day as we were all glued to the TV and internet to see what would be released next. My cousin lost her husband on the flight that went into the Pentagon . . he made that business trip twice a month. I just can’t imagine the fear that people living in New York felt, I just know the fear I felt and I was in Canada.

    • Tameka says:

      🙁 God bless your cousin’s husband. As neighbors I know this had to have affected Canadians tremendously as well. Oh. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when Princess Di pass as well. I cried for days. Not sure why. I didn’t know her personally, but she touched so many.

  4. Kristeen says:

    I got goosebumps reading this. One of my managers, who lives in Atlanta, asked me about my 9/11 experience last week… My Dad watched from the bathroom window of his office a few blocks away – my brother was on the helix watching from across the river as he was on his way in to his NYC office… I got the news first on the radio as I was out for a walk before work and was planning to work from home… It effected everyone is such different ways. I collected pictures and stories from friends and did a traditional album on the subject. I read some where that this was the most documented event in US history but I still felt compelled to do my own album that documented the personal stories I heard….

    • Tameka says:

      Some of the employees in my office went up to the tax department on the 7th or 8th floor of our building (we were on the 5th floor) where there was a clear and unobstructed view of the burning towers.

      I am glad you did your own album. No one can tell a story from your perspective or compile a the stories from such an event the way you could. All of our stories are like fingerprints. Unique in every way.

  5. Donna Nuce says:

    Thank you for your Where were you page. I was on temporary duty assignment at National Guard Bureau. My hotel was right across the street from the Pentagon (on the side that got hit). I too had to do a page about that day. It is so seared into my mind. What we did, saw and felt is an important part of history and I hope everyone documents it for future generations.

    • Tameka says:

      We always want to document the good times and fond memories, but it is important to document the devastating and not so happy ones as well. That being said, after 16 years, I have still not completed my dad’s memorial album (his death had nothing to do with 9/11, just a hard album to work on). I gotta get to that one too.

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