Sunday, September 11, 2011

On 9-11 at 7AM I flew out of Boston....

Ten years ago today  is a day I will never forget.  It started like any other day, except that morning I woke up early to board my flight out of Boston on American Airlines, headed to Orlando Florida.
We were in the air when the planes hit the towers around 9am but our  flight crew didn't let on...looking back the attendants were pacing the aisles looking intently at each passenger in every row...at the time I just thought they were being attentive. Upon landing at 11am there was no announcement to let everyone know what had just happened either. It wasn't until we turned on our cell phones that we started to retrieve messages from loved ones, frantic and crying for us to return their calls and let them know if we were ok.
My mom was babysitting my three sons for me so I could take a short 4 day trip to Orlando, Florida.  My oldest son was listening to the radio when the drama unfolded, that planes had hit the twin towers, and other planes were crashing...he knew I was flying and he knew that one of the flights had originated from Boston.  He was so frightened. It was traumatic for the ones at home, to think that we were suddenly dead from a  vicious act of terrorism. 
 Fortunately I was spared watching the television and having those images seared into my memory.  I was staying at a home that I was there to decorate, and there were no televisions or even radios. We did go out to restaurants to try and get information, but just knowing that we had escaped with our lives, when so many did not, was just too much to absorb. 
It was a time for reflection and sadness and feeling that our country was vulnerable....and with these moments came a need for peace and kindness.  I remember the air being so quiet, there were no planes flying, and I remember drivers being so kind and letting others cut in front, and stopping for pedestrians.  We had to drive back to Boston, as all air travel was cancelled. We drove through New York city around 3am and the smoke was still billowing out and up from "ground zero" as it came to be called.  It was all lit up with gigantic spotlights and we could see it as we drove over the George Washington bridge. We watched with a blank numbness and helplessness. We were all needing each other~this feeling is still  so vivid in my mind. 
I will never forget 9-11, and my heart is with those that lost loved ones on that horrific day.  I must have stood in line behind them at the security checkpoint, next to them as we grabbed early morning coffees, and sat next to them while waiting for our respective flights as our gates shared a seating area. 
And as our flights were called to board at the same time, they walked through their gate, and I walked through my gate, and we headed to our separate fates.  A brush with fate I will never forget and am forever grateful for, that I got to continue being mom to my kids, and daughter to my mom and dad, and sister to my siblings, and future wife to my future husband.

23 comments:

  1. how horrible for your family....what a scary story....i just blogged about my story that day too!!!

    big hugs today!!!

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  2. Amy reading this gave me the chills!! I can just imagine how scared your family was! Martina

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  3. Amy today I hug you and all American people so strong...I never forget that day...ciao Flavia

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  4. What a horrible experience for you and your family! I too was in Orlando at Disney World that horrible day. I had on the tv watching the news and getting ready for my day. Watching the news was so horrifying. What an awful day for our country. My husband and I also drove home to VA that week. We had flown from Dulles airport....so sombering.

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  5. Wow Amy that is too close. Your poor son - I can't even imagine. I was spared the TV coverage as well as I pulled into work that day just as the 3rd plane went into the Pentagon- I was a dental hygienist and had to stay professional and just keep working. I got updates through phone calls on my breaks from my neighbor whose daughter was in the area and trying to get on a ferry to New Jersey and by the time I got home that night I couldn't watch it - it was just too much. My kids were traumatized by watching the coverage and seeing things I wish they never had to know about. Such a sad day.

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  6. This story is so touching. I can just imagine how frightened your family was. I was driving to work and heard it over the radio and looked to the skies to see if planes were flying overhead. When I got to the office....all the tvs were on it. Then the first tower fell....we were all in a trance. But my boss came running down the hall and told me to immediately buy all the American flags I could get my hands on for us to hand out at promotions. So I spent my day calling everyone and driving all over town buying flags. I felt sick. This is the kind of people I have worked for this past decade. Selfish money grubbers. I was embarrassed to call and say what I was needing and why.

    When I returned to the office, I discovered...no one was doing anything....they had all just watched tv all day while I had to embarrass myself running around buying flags. Still makes me mad to this day.

    I had only been working there about four months...and was trying very hard to impress....a year later I would have told him to find a place to stick a flag. It was just so wrong.

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  7. Oh Amy, I know we wonder sometimes, the whats and whys of how things work out the way they do. So glad you are still here.
    hugs and blessings, Debra

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  8. I can just imagine how terrifying it was for your family to see this unfold on TV and know you were up in the air. I am so glad things worked out for you and my heart is heavy today for all those who were not so lucky and for their families still trying to pick up the pieces that I can imagine you never fully get over.
    May our world one day sooner than later, live in peace where such an act would be unthinkable.

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  9. Your family must have been out of their minds until you made that phone call! Watching it unfold was one thing but this must be a nightmare for many, to have been so close to any of 9/11.
    Bless all who were involved!
    Sandy

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  10. That was just too close! I can only imagine how your family felt. I am sure you often think about how fate put you in those cirumstances. ~Hugs, Patti

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  11. Wow Amy your story and seeing your boarding pass with *that* date on it gave me the shivers! Your poor family during that awful wait to hear you were safe and well :( In New Zealand, we were woken to the news on our clock radio...and couldn't believe what we were hearing. Seeing those images on TV were, and still are, absolutely shocking. At the time, we were weeks away from our wedding. The terrorist attacks made us pretty worried about travelling to a muslim country on our honeymoon, in case of retaliatory attacks, but thankfully we had a wonderful time, and are now weeks away from our 10th wedding anniversary :)

    xx Karen

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  12. I cannot believe you were traveling on that day. What an awful tragedy but such a blessing that it wasn't your plane. I know you and your family are thankful each day that your plane wasn't one of the planes that went down. -Cristi

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  13. the only thing i can say is that thank the GOOD LORD THAT HE KEPT YOU SAFE. i still have a hard time with that day. i sat outside for a while that day and just looked at the sky. it was so eerie not to see any planes, and then all the sudden i saw one. it really scared me. but then, i realized later, after watching tv, that it was air force 1 heading out west. that also was really weird. it was something ill never forget as long as i live. but anyway, just thank God you were spared from the evil, and am very happy to be reading your blog today, even though it is a sad one. God bless you...susy

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  14. Just reading your post really brought it close to home to me. Fate can seem as random as a flip of a coin. I imagine you will have replayed that day over and over many times, each time with goosebumps. I guess you will seize every day now, God bless, Sally xx

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  15. OMG...I can't even imagine what you felt upon landing and finding out the horror that was unfolding as you were in the air that day...moving story....I have to say that I am glad this day is about over as it brings back soooo much sadness of an event that changed the world! Hugs.....
    Cathy aka GGJ

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  16. Amy, your story touched my heart. I will never forget watching from way across the otherside of the world in absolute horror. An event that changed the world forever and affected even us non-Americans. xx

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  17. "Amen". It was a horrible day in the history of mankind.

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  18. Wow, amazing story of where were you! We know not the time or place...

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  19. Amy, I never realized that you shared a gate sitting area with one of the flights. How very sad and traumatic. What I will never forget is how in our family of seven, four of us were to be flying that day, all in or out of the airports where the various downed planes originated. Dad, home to Boston from the Mideast, Paul, out of Boston later that day (he lost several coworkers who flew earlier to LA), you on the plane from Boston at the same time, and I heading to Washington D.C.'s Dulles airport (and leading a meeting at the FAA's east coast headquarters). Such a bizarre coincidence, yet we all remained safe. One of our very distant cousins, Jeremy Glick, helped lead the resistance on Flight 93. May he rest in peace.

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  20. Touching post! How scary that you were that close to danger. Wonder how many times we are close to danger and don't even know it? Thankful that you escaped harm that day!

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  21. Oh Amy,
    How scary for you and your family.
    I cannot even imagine and then getting to a spot that had no radio or TV? A blessing and a curse probably. I think we sat home for three or four days just glued to the television sets.
    Horrifying and yet unable to stop worrying and wondering about the survivors.
    I will never forget.
    So glad your angels were protecting you that day.
    xx
    Alison

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