9-11 My Story

September 11, 2013

Today I sat my children down and read to them what I had written about my day on September 11, 2001. I thought I’d share it with my dear readers as well. I’ve changed names and only slightly edited it so that you can understand. It’s nothing spectacular and is full of needless stories. It doesn’t even have a complete ending. But, here ya go.


sept 11th

Mark 24:6


Psalms 91:1

I am writing this the day after the nations tragedy.

My alarm woke me at 6:00am. I got dressed, checked my e-mail, gave Jeremy a kiss and left for work. I was a few minutes late and really shouldn’t have been because we had a new girl training with me. When I reached the coffee shop Stacy was sitting outside. I introduced myself and we went in the shop and began brewing the coffees. I put my make-up on and by then people were coming into the shop.

The first girl that came in was a past employee that I didn’t know. She was now working at Speedway and thought her gas station was just robbed. She said a brick was thrown through the window.

The day went on as normal. Stacy and I were really getting along. We even gave her her own special of the day. “Stacy’s Specialle Latte” {I had accidentally spelled Special wrong}. It was a caramel, vanilla and chocolate latte.

Jeremy called me around 8:45ish with a rather cheery voice. He then said “I’m sorry to tell you this but Tim is cutting our check this morning and we should have the money by early next week!” I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited! Jeremy’s father had passed away last February and we were told we would receive an insurance check. Well, we waited eight months and we’re finally getting it! We know that I need a new car and our debt needs paid off, after that we’re going to save it for a house! When I got off the phone I was smiling ear to ear!

Rebecca had come in earlier and brought muffins and cookies. She was still there and I told her the great news! While Stacy was making drinks I showed Becky my high school scrapbook that I was working on. Reba came in the shop and I told her how I painted my sliding glass doors of our apartment. She had helped us paint the windows of the coffee shop. I had painted our doors because people were looking in our apartment and telling the management that we had a cat. So I wanted people to stay away so I made sure they couldn’t watch us anymore. I made a nice autumn scene of pumpkins, a bare tree with leaves falling off and a hay barrel. Rebecca went home and Reba left.

A man came into the shop, I don’t know his name, but he works with the local college band and gets coffee almost every day. Really nice guy. Stacy is one of his students so they spoke for a while. She told him she was starting a girl band.

The phone rang so I answered it. It was Rebecca. She told me that a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center. I told her to keep us up to date and I hung up the phone. I stood in shock and had my mouth open. The man asked “what?” And I told Stacy and him what had happened. At the time I had no idea what the World Trade Center was, but I knew it was an important building.

Throughout our shift we spoke with customers about what was going on. Either we told them what had happened or they were updating us. Rebecca called again and told us that a plane crashed into the pentagon or that it was bombed. She wasn’t sure but she knew it was on fire. We were also told that people were jumping out of the World Trade Center.

I began silently crying. All I could think was “this is Revelation…” I went over to sit down while Stacy worked and I began praying. I prayed for those injured, their families and for the nation. Ida Jean called and told us about the Pentagon also. She works at the photography studio and was in to get coffee earlier. Two men came in and told us that one of the men had just arrived in Columbus from Baltimore. He said as they were taking off they were showing the WTC being hit. I called Jeremy to make sure he knew what was going on. He informed me of other events that had occurred. A plane crashing in Pittsburgh, a bomb on a plane in Cleveland and how the second WTC was hit. We later learned that both buildings collapsed. I gave Stacy my phone so she could call her mom who lives and teaches school in Maryland. It took a long time to get through, all of the phones were tied up, at least the cell phones. Her mom was ok and said everything was fine.

Stacy and I went outside because we had no customers. We kept the door open while she sat on the steps and I walked around waiting for the coffee shop owner, Julie. to show up. After hanging out for a while Julie finally called and told us she was on her way. Stacy had to leave but not soon after Judy showed up. She was really shaken. All she could think about was the Left Behind novels. Since this was kind of my last day at the coffee shop I had brought my camera. Julie wouldn’t even let me take her picture.

I left my scrapbook so she could look at it. I had to return at 2pm anyhow because she didn’t have anyone to work. I left and as I did every car had talk radio on. When I reached my truck my favorite christian radio station was still playing music. I checked the popular secular channel and they had talk on. I drove home and watched Fox News. I even got my Left Behind video and played it in the bedroom. Instead of watching news or the movie I went on the computer. My friend, Bethany, invited me into a chat to talk about what was happening. I was also checking out CNN.com. My mom was online so I talked to her and she said that Osama Ben Laden was to blame. I had no idea who he was. So she told me and I also searched online. I remembered reading the Columbus Dispatch a few weeks ago. The front page had an article about Colin Powell ignoring someones threats. I now assume it was Bin Laden he was ignoring.

Bethany put a message online that Bush was speaking. I ran downstairs and watched. It wasn’t live because the terrorists would have known where the president was. So it was recorded in Shreveport, Louisiana. All I could remember was president Bush saying “Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.” It was such a strong statement in many ways.

I went back upstairs and chatted a little while. My phone rang so I ran down to answer it. It was Julie saying that I didn’t have to go in to work again because Tasha was going to work. I told her all of the updates and that I would be in later anyways.

I left for the American Red Cross. I had called two close relatives to go with me but neither one was allowed to donate blood. So I went on to go donate alone. I drove to the ARC, but it wasn’t there anymore. I called my grandmother to ask her where it had moved and she didn’t know, but said there was one in downtown Columbus. While I was on my cell phone I saw the ARC sign. So I hung up, parked and walked to the office. It was packed! There was a line out the door and people were sitting outside filling out their papers. I went in, signed up and received my paper to fill out. After I filled out my paper I went to turn it in and I noticed they were turning people away. I told them I would come back the next day to lessen their workload.

I called my my husband and grandmother and told them how crowded it was. I also told them about how a 20 year old boy was getting frustrated with the wait and said “I’m gonna start pushing people outta the say.” Funny how he wanted to do something good for others but couldn’t be polite to people right next to him.

I went home and got the mail. Another complaint from our apartment complex…saying we didn’t sign a pet agreement, even though we did. It made me mad, but it was pretty insignificant compared to all the events happening. I watched the news and checked in online every so often. Downtown Columbus was in a lock down and Ohio State University had cancelled classes. I got a phone call from our pastors wife, Lydia, asking if her sons were still having football practice {my husband was their coach}. I told her I would call her back. By the time I got through to my husband and called Lydia back she must have left of something. So I left a message saying that they were having chapel at the football field and the boys don’t have to come but they’re more than welcome to. After I hung up, the phone rang again. It was a job offer for me for the next four weeks testing cash registers. I accepted and was told to come in on Thursday at 9:00am.

A half an hour later, or so, Jeremy came home. I went upstairs and got dressed and we went to the football field at the church. The high school team was practicing. The head coach, Daniel, just arrived also. So Jeremy and I went to the office room and we all talked. Mainly about the gas prices. When I was online earlier I saw that Oklahoma City was up to $6/gallon! Jeremy said when he was driving home the gas stations were overfilled. Daniel told us about one of the women who was on the plane that crashed in PA. Her came was Barbara Olsen. She had written a book about Hilary Clinton and was kind of a co-anchor for CNN. She was supposed to fly out on Monday but her husbands birthday was on Tuesday so she changed her flight to have breakfast with him. Well, while she was on the plane she called her husband to tell him what was going on. That was the last time he would speak with his wife.

We left the office when we saw some of the boys showing up. Jeremy got them started by having them run around the field. Some of the fathers began pointing to the sky. Everyone knew that all flights in the United States had been cancelled but there were three planes flying next to each other. They were headed east so we assumed it was the president. The boys practiced and I chatted with Daniel’s wife. They had a very short practice and we all gathered together to listen to Buzz, another coach and also a pastor, talk to the boys. The high school team had broken up into small groups and were praying together. Buzz asked the kids how they felt about what was going on. Most said they didn’t know what was going on and didn’t think it was a big deal. But that later they realized it was a big deal and didn’t know what to think, kind of scared.



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