It was a beautiful September morning. It was warm, and the sun was shining brightly as I drove to Latham where I worked.
After the usual morning chatter in the office subsided, the office became quiet as everyone settled down to work. A short while later, one of the employees came by to tell us all that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center!
How very awful, was my first reaction! Next I thought that a plane had malfunctioned with some kind of mechanical failure, and got out of control and hit the tower. Another plane subsequently crashed into the other tower just minutes later! No one knew what was happening, but the office was buzzing with talk of possible terrorism. Tension and fear filled the office.
I had a sick feeling and felt a trembling as I remembered my son, Tom, was traveling in a plane that morning on a business trip from New York to Cincinnati. I was unable to reach his wife, Barbara, by phone.
I knew my husband was at home working outside trying to get our property in Delanson prepped to hook onto the new sewer system that was being run down our road, so I was unable to reach him either.
A short while later, my son-in-law, Jeff, called to let me know he had reached Barbara and that Tom landed safely in Cincinnati. Relief filled my body and mind.
Then Art, my husband, called telling me he just heard the news from our neighbor and went inside to turn the TV on and saw the latest news. I told him Jeff had reached Barbara and that Tom was OK.
Later we found out that since all flights were being canceled and grounded, Tom and his co-worker he was traveling with were driving back to N.Y. with a rental car.
A member of our department in our office was in Manhattan on business and no one was able to reach him. A couple others in our company were down there, too.
Everyone was most worried about them. We later found that all of them were safe.
Since all transportation in NYC was halted, our department member walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to get to his relatives. We also found later that another employee had a niece who worked in the Twin Towers and was one of the many who lost their lives that tragic day.
As the day went on, the news got worse and worse with further tragic events occurring. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center collapsed; a plane crashed into the Pentagon; and a plane heading for Washington, D.C., crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. It was later found that the passengers aboard that flight overtook control from the terrorists, thereby diverting it from D.C. and crashing it into the field in Pennsylvania. This heroic action cost them their lives, but saved many.
Later that week, Tom and Barbara drove up to stay with us through the weekend.
When they arrived at our home, we all just hugged and hugged and cried and cried.
It was a very emotional time for all.
The next day we heard they were asking people to light a candle outside at 7 p.m.
The four of us gathered together and did that at 7 p.m., and we prayed.
Everyone was glued to their TVs for days as more news of the tragedy unfolded.
The date, 9/11/2001, and the tragedies of that day go down in history. It’s a day people will never forget.
Many lives were lost that day. The clouds of smoke and ash from the collapse of the Twin Towers penetrated the streets of Manhattan for days. Americans will always be grateful for the sacrifices and help of the many first responders.
Our hearts and love of country swelled and permeated throughout the land following the tragedy as we progressed in our healing process. We made it through, and felt a high sense of strength and patriotism as this phrase echoed over and over again: God bless the USA.
-Camille Crandall, Delanson