10 September 2001 – 10 years ago today

What were you doing the day before

NOT ten years ago tomorrow.  Ten years ago today.  The day before.

On 10 September 2001 I was to fly to Minneapolis from Albuquerque, where I had given a talk at a conference.  But a friend (who reads and comments here, by the way) called me with the suggestion that, if I could reroute my return flight, he, a pilot, would meet me in Phoenix and we could go to a Diamondbacks game for which he had tickets.

I changed my flight to go through Phoenix with a long layover before an American West connection to Minneapolis on the red eye.

We went to the game and then visited a mutual friend in the area (now deceased, God rest her soul).  My friend dropped me at the airport and home I went back to Minneapolis on the last flight out of Phoenix.

The last flight on 10 September 2001 out of Phoenix.

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  1. pinoytraddie says:

    What Does it Have to Do with 9/11?(Sorry I Am Ignorant of These Locations that You’re Describing)

  2. Supertradmum says:

    I shall not be in the United States tomorrow, nor was I in America during the horrors of 9/11 ten years ago. It is very odd being abroad when your country is grieving. My experience in Canada ten years ago was extremely painful, as Catholic Canadians,who I thought were friends, phoned me and told me “America deserves this.” No country deserves violence, unless we say that all countries deserve punishment from God for sin, but I do not think 9/11 falls into that category.

    Now, I am in England and no one has mentioned tomorrow’s anniversary. I may go the entire day without hearing anything about 9/11. However, as we who remember where we were when Kennedy died, we shall never forget the details of 9/11 or where we were on that day. God bless all the dead, the survivors, and all the families. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

  3. Lirioroja says:

    pinoytraddie, all civilian flights were ordered grounded in the US after the second plane hit the World Trade Center. There were no planes flying into, out of, or within the US. Many international flights were rerouted to Canada and I heard cities like Halifax were bursting with stranded passengers. Since the second hit happened at 9:03 AM EDT most flights except the earliest scheduled ones never made it off the ground and the ones in the air never made it to their destination. Fr. Z got home just in time.

  4. Tom says:

    Forever seared in memory. I had just returned to work in Newark on the 10th. I was going to go to NYC, Tribeca area, for breakfast with a friend on the morning of the 11th. Planned to take the PATH into the City at 7AM, but my friend did not want to go. I woke up about 6:30 in my home in Newark, and decided I did not want to go alone, so I rolled over (thank you again, Guardian Angel). Around 9, I received a call from my friend in Phoenix (sorry @pinotraddie) about an airplane flying into a building. I threw open the blinds, and said, “No way, it’s a beautiful clear day here.” (I was thinking of the guy that flew a motorized hang glider into the Statue of Liberty a short time before.) I am also thankful that I was not flying that day, and had been scheduled to do Newark-Los Angeles on the 12th.

    @pinoytraddie: Those locations are fairly major cities in the United States. What it has to do with 9/11 is that we remember many details of our lives at times like that, and we can be thankful for our protection from disasters.

    The Diamondbacks won the Series that year. [HUZZAH! They beat the Yankees! Virginia for the final game staying with a priest friend. Big group of priests got together to watch the game. I was the only one cheering for the DBacks.]

  5. Tom says:

    P.S.: That PATH route I was going to take terminated under the WTC.

  6. Seraphic Spouse says:

    You haven’t turned on the TV, then, because British TV stations have been airing stories about 9/11 for over a week. UK media coverage of 9/11 has been hourly today. I heard a soundbite from Obama about 9/11 on a Scottish radio music station in a Scottish sandwich shop this afternoon. There was a BBC interview of Tony Blair about 9/11 this morning. The newspaper headlines on the sandwich boards were “Cameron: Britain Lost Moral Authority After 9/11.”

    I’m sorry Canadian “friends” said that to you. A Canadian myself, I spent the day crying. Some buildings in Toronto were evacuated. With exceptions of a few mean-spirited (or pro-jihad) individuals, the nation was horrified, and on Sunday Catholic churches (at very least) were packed.

  7. Seraphic Spouse says:

    Sorry, that was @supertradmom. Again, 9/11 is being very much discussed in Britain, on TV, in the newspapers, in weekly magazines like “The Spectator” and on radio.

  8. JohnE says:

    I first heard about it while I was at the gym (triceps machine) while I was working out. I remember being annoyed at the person on the radio — I thought “typical mainstream media blowing things way out of proportion”. When I kept hearing about it on the radio and heard that the towers actually collapsed I was stunned. As I drove into work I was wondering if it was even appropriate for me to do that — to go on almost as if nothing happened.

    I don’t remember what happened at work, other than going out to lunch and everyone being glued to the big-screen TV there.

    And I am disheartened by the same level of murder of those who are even more innocent and defenseless that occurs each day through abortion, and our immense lack of shock and outrage. We have become too accustomed to our illness.

  9. poohbear says:

    I was on a cruise ship that had departed NYC on Sept 9 en route to Nova Scotia. On 9/11 we were at sea, but knew of the horrors from television. The staff set up big screen TV’s in all the lounges, and we were fortunate to have on board a priest, a rabbi and a minister, who made themselves available to all passengers. Since the majority of passengers were from the NY/NJ/CT area, so many were directly affected by the tragedy.

    The Canadian people were wonderful to us. Everyone who encountered any of the passengers was quick to offer condolences and hugs. And I will never forget the people of Sydney who came out to the dock to see the ship off (I think it must have been the entire town!). They were all waving American flags and singing God Bless America as we departed. It still makes me teary eyed to think about it. This is the best memory of that trip, and a positive memory to go along with the sad ones.

  10. jilly4ski says:

    I was in school, a sophomore in high school, in AP US history class, if I remember correctly. The teacher got a phone call, and she flipped on the tv. The first plane had hit and we were watching the news coverage and commentary and watched the second plane fly into the second tower live. It all seemed so distant and so far away.

  11. Angelika says:

    Ten years ago, today, I flew home from Manchester, NH, after dropping off my son at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. When I was planning my flights, I had considered returning on Tuesday from Boston, but decided to get everything done and go home on Monday, and using a smaller airport. My brother in Germany was in horrible anguish for half a day, believing I was on one of those planes, since I had not informed him of my change in plans.

  12. ejcmartin says:

    I was at a golf tournament that day in Newfoundland. The next day I was to give a lunch presentation.

  13. Sofia Guerra says:

    Talking to my friend planning to meet her on 9/11 for lunch at 11:30 on the concourse in WTC. Was to take early train on NJ Transit to shop down by WTC before lunch. Would have been on street when buildings came down… [But this is about 10 September.]
    Called her 7am next morning (9/11) left VM on her cell that I would have to take a “Raincheck” because the day was beautiful and warm and there was a storm off NC. The surf at the Jersey shore was supposed to be double-overhead…went surfing early…

    She never returned my call…

  14. benedetta says:

    The day before I was enjoying family. A Mom with a one year old. Worked nights training teachers. All in the big wondrous city. That day I worried for the future of children. The Catholic world in NYC on the 11th and in the turmoil was united and displayed great compassion. Everyone had reactions and opinions yet those were not given priority nor did those serve as basis to divide human beings from one another. Of everything that happened that is important to remember.

  15. Margaret says:

    I honestly don’t remember– I was just starting into homeschooling my kids, and was trying to adjust to the different schedule and different way of approaching things. I don’t think the 10th was our “first day” of homeschool. I suspect it was the start of our second week.

    I’m a native Long Islander living in California. My three siblings lived in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. I spent the next two days trying to reach my family on the phone. I knew intellectually nobody would have had any reason to have to be at the TT that day, yet I really couldn’t stop shaking until I’d spoken to everybody. The most nerve-wracking was trying to reach my brother in Brooklyn– the phone lines were completely messed up. Most attempts didn’t go through. The first few that did go through were routed through to wrong numbers, answered on the other end by man with a middle eastern accent.

    Oh, and Father Z., I was rooting for the Yankees that year!!! I would insert the tongue-sticking-out emoticon, but it seems disrespectful when directed towards a priest.

  16. justamouse says:

    It was my 7 year anniversary, I was pregnant with baby #6, and we were planning an evening out.

  17. I have no independent recollection at all what I was doing on 9/10. Would have been just another Monday in the public defender’s office where I was then working.

    I do recall my obliviousness until I got into the office on the 11th. I did not turn the TV on that morning while getting ready for work (I had TV then) and in the car I listened to a station that played ’80s music. At one point the DJ said he would do his best to continue with the 8 straight hits (or whatever it was), but he was pretty shaken by what had just happened, as he was sure we all were. I wondered what he was talking about, but it didn’t occur to me to switch to talk radio. When I got to the office, a bunch of the support staff were huddled around my secretary’s desk listening to the radio.

    “What’s happened?” I said.

    “The World Trade Center is gone,” she said.

    My mind went immediately to the first attack on the WTC in 1993, and I thought (and may actually have also said): “So they’ve finished the job” — “they” being the same bunch that attacked it the first time.

    We all had court that day, and clients to see, and business to carry on, but we were absorbed with the outrage all day. Of course there were all sorts of rumors about domestic terrorists, etc., and then, too, we had no idea about casualties: upwards of 50,000 were feared dead just in the Towers alone. And there was the outrage, and the uncertainty as to what lay ahead. Those were days no one can imagine who has not lived through it.

  18. avecrux says:

    The day before, I was at home with my 4 children – I was homeschooling the eldest – the other 3 were too little.

    The next day, I got a call from my Mom, telling me anxiously that my sister was ok. I had no idea what she was talking about because we didn’t have a tv. She explained. I went to my computer and saw everything.

    My newlywed sister was living in that neighborhood with her husband. They went to help – found out what was needed most in the area was boots and socks for rescue workers, who were going through them so fast. My sister and brother in law rented a u-haul and were able to fill it with boots and socks.

    My parish had a special Mass on the night of the 11th. I will never forget it. The Church was absolutely packed to the gills. Say what you will about liturgical music, but that night the choir sang “The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor” and it made me cry. It captured exactly how I felt. I’ll never forget it.

  19. bernadette says:

    I had a wonderful breakfast at the pousada where I was staying in Ponte de Lima, Portugal. Then our group hiked 29K on the Caminho trail. In the evening our van took us to a rustic, peaceful pousada way out in the country. After a Portuguese dinner of kale soup, barnacles, peppers, and roast kid at a restaurant in a nearby Ferreira, my bone tired body fell into bed at the pousada. There was a church nearby and every hour the bells chimed all through the night.

  20. I was in Brady, Tx, having performed a wedding the previous day in Minneapolis. During the course of the attacks the next morning i was serving the Divine Liturgy. Ten years previous to that I was serving the Divine Liturgy on Transfiguration Day (O.S.) when the Soviet union was beginning to crumble.

  21. Peggy R says:

    I don’t remember a thing about Sept 10. I recall that on Labor Day (I guess the Monday before Sept 10), my huz and I spent the day biking, carefree, around the Washington Capitol Mall. (This was pre-children; we were married but a year.)

    I recall that gorgeous Sept 11 morning, while stuck in post-Labor Day insane traffic waiting to get on the GW parkway toward Bethesda from Va. I was stuck at a spot about a mile from the Pentagon for some time, when I heard about the first plane…crazy accident; then the radio reporter’s shocking cry of the 2nd plane hitting…I said to the guy in the jeep next to me…terrorism. But the closeness of the terror was unknown at the time…I didn’t hear of the plane into the Pentagon until I got to my office in MD.

    I can’t imagine the sorrow and ongoing fear in the psyches of those folks in Manhatten that day. God be with you all; may the souls of the departed rest in peace. Those many brave folks that day, God rest your souls. We thank you all!

  22. Cathomommy says:

    My husband and I had been married for just 4 months, living in Arkansas far away from all of our family members. We had just discovered we were expecting our first child. We had no TV, by choice, but I was on the Internet that morning, and read a one-line AP article on Yahoo: “A plane has hit the World Trade Center.” Later, another one-line article: “The Tower has fallen.” Four words; tremendous impact.
    Now, I am trying to teach our oldest children about that day. We have a book checked out of the library, but it is hard to communicate the feeling of that day to them. They know what happened…but I’m not sure they “get it.”

  23. tealady24 says:

    Standing outside on the stoop that late summer night, I recall how that was one of my favorite times of the day. Chels (my spottie Dalmatian) and I had just returned from our nightly walk. We would go all around the neighborhood just as night would fall; so our walking times changed subtly all year long. It must have been close to 8:00 p.m. and all was quiet.
    In a matter of minutes, dusk had given way to early evening. Streetlights glowed yellow then, and the absolute quiet of my neighborhood wrapped around me like a gentle shawl. A few bicyclists drifted by, one lone walker, a few cars; silent all. Passing by my home they were hard to see, and were shadowy figures passing beyond the forsythia bushes and the blue spruce tree. No words, no need. They, too, I suspect were in search of solitude; something not to be found in the bustle of any given day. All seemed quiet, safe, familiar, as dark enveloped our world.
    I stood there still; Chels just on the inside of the screen door, laying on the rug, waiting. That’s what I felt like I was doing, waiting. The thunderstorm stayed away; as the thunder continued to my right, up the street, I knew it was passing north of us, nearer to New York City. That’s where the storm was heading, I thought. We weren’t getting it. New York City, that’s where it would end up. The storm was moving away from us this night.
    This night. Monday night.
    For this Monday night was September 10, 2001.

  24. trespinos says:

    Although I have no recollection of what I was doing on the 10th, [But this is about 10 September.] I remember my reaction of the 11th as being concerned primarily with how my 90 year-old mother, in her retirement home apartment watching TV as her window on the world, would process all the horror. (We were in the Pacific Northwest, far from the immediate threats of that day.) As I drove to her apartment, I hoped I could calm her by being calm myself and presenting a brave front. When I arrived, I found her watching the Food Channel and not speaking a word about what she knew or didn’t know about what was all over the news channels. I visited with her and did not even consider changing the channel. In the following weeks, although I’m pretty sure the other residents of the home must have discussed the news with her, she never once broached the subject with me and her cable channels of choice continued to be far removed from the realities of the War on Terror. To this day, I don’t know whether she coped with the news by intentionally avoiding it, or whether, blessedly, the limited dementia she had had rendered her incapable of processing it. She passed away six months later.

  25. Andreas says:

    As a Naval Officer on active duty, I was stationed at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California where I was a member of the military faculty. I spent most of the day on the 10th preparing for work on the 11th.

    I recall watching the attacks unfold, there..so far from New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The word spread quickly that we were now on the highest level of national alert. All of us in uniform responded immediately. All military facilities were secured. We watched…and waited for orders on how to proceed.

    My wife was at home in Austria. When her call finally got through, she told me that all there thought that the radio reports regarding the attacks were dramatizations…something akin to the ‘War of the Worlds’ radio broadcast made during the first half of the last century. It was shortly thereafter when the shocking reality set in that Austria along with the rest of the nation states of Europe joined the US in that all-too-brief moment of complete unity.

    Later that day, I gathered a group of military officers from around the globe who were attending classes at the Naval Postgraduate School and discussed the terrible events of the day. All voiced in no uncertain terms full support for the US and what responses that surely were to follow. Just before we went our separate ways as the sun was setting, I suddenly began to sing ‘God Bless America’. I was a lone voice, for none of the others knew the song. It was incredibly difficult to get the words out; emotions and fatigue were overwhelming as we approached the end of that very long terrible day.

  26. capebretoner says:

    I was walking on a picket line due to a strike at my place of employment, hoping that the strike would soon end. They took the line down the next day……………….

  27. Lirioroja says:

    I don’t recall Sept. 10, 2001 very well. I was temping at a communications company with it’s offices located downtown right across the street from the Staten Island Ferry. It was a temp-to-perm job that I hoped would go permanent (it didn’t). It was cloudy and rainy that day. I remember that I was late to work (again) and beating myself up for it. I took either the N or the R train into work for both those trains stopped at Whitehall back then. I lived with my folks back then and I went home to Brooklyn and my mom had made dinner before going off to work at her night job. She was also a temp worker, cleaning offices after-hours and she’d get called to replace sick or vacationing workers. My dad and aunt (his sister) came home from running the jewelry store he owned back then in Elizabeth, NJ where a lot of my mom’s siblings and their kids lived. Mom had already left for work by then. I went to bed late as is still my wont. Morning came too soon as it still does for me.

    Another mad dash to work and I was late to work again. I remember getting out of the subway at Whitehall and noticing a dark cloud above in an otherwise blue and clear sky. “Huh,” I thought to myself. “They said it wasn’t gonna rain today.” I was too much in a hurry to notice how black the cloud was or to look for its source. I wanted to get my butt in my chair at my desk (I was the receptionist) post haste. Had I looked I would’ve seen the smoke billowing out of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. See, I left the subway and climbed out into the street at 8:46 AM on Sept. 11, 2001. The rest of that day I remember as if it were yesterday.

  28. rsalie says:

    I really don’t remember anything too specific from the 10th. It would have been just another work day for me, then came home to play with my then 3 month old son. I remember talking to one of the doctors about his daughter who’s birthday was the next day, and talking to my mom that night on the phone and her telling me that my oldest brother was flying in to Los Angeles from back east. (He ended up on a flight that left just before the hijaked planes and landed safely in Vegas and drove the rest of the way home.But it was several hours before we found this out that morning.) I would have got my husband’s uniform ironed for the next day (which he would wear for the next 4 days) and gone to bed.

  29. This entry is about 10 September, not 11 September.

  30. Carolina Geo says:

    I honestly cannot remember a thing about September 10. But I do remember the 11th.

    At the time, I was a high school math teacher on the west coast. I woke up as I normally did and started getting ready for work. I turned on the radio as usual (about 6:15 west coast time), but the voices on the local news weren’t familiar; that told me immediately that something big was happening. At the time, there was much speculation and confusion, and it occurred to me that often in major news stories, the fact and the fiction are reported together and get sorted out in time. I was glued to the radio trying to comprehend it all.

    When I got to school (a nominally Catholic school), I immediately asked our secretary to announce on the intercom that I would be leading a rosary in our school’s small chapel (which could hold about 10 students). There were so many students who showed up to pray that we had to change plans. So we waited for school to start and the entire school gathered in the gymnasium for a “briefing.” Afterward, I led the rosary and most of the school stayed to pray. As an interesting aside, none of the school’s religion teachers remained for the rosary. Like I said, it was a nominally Catholic school.

    There was not too much teaching that happened that day. Students came and went to my class as they normally would, but we discussed more important issues than math.

    When I got home, I continued to listen to the radio into the evening and tried to comprehend how someone could do such an atrocious act. At one point, they were reporting how the Palestinians were dancing in the streets about the news. It made me sick to my stomach to think entire demographics were in jubilation over the murder of innocent souls. At that point I had to turn off the radio and pray some more.

  31. I don’t remember much about the 10th, either.

    But we were so happy, that day, and we didn’t even know it.

  32. Jacob says:

    Monday, class. Lectures and maybe a discussion section, I don’t recall. A usual boring Monday at my Midwestern university. So long ago…

  33. bmccoy says:

    I was in kindergarden: Innocent, and surrounded by love.

  34. Lori Pieper says:

    September 10, 2001 I was in my apartment in the Bronx, doing last-minute work on my doctoral dissertation at Fordham, which I was supposed to turn in within less than two weeks and defend in a month.

    The very last day of the old world . . . seems like a million years ago instead of just ten.

    I worked until around 4 a.m. and finally went into bed. I tossed and turned with anxiety about my studies and finally fell asleep around 6.

    When people ask me where I was when the planes it, I have to truthfully say I slept through it. I knew nothing until around 12:30 p.m., when one of my mom’s repeated frantic phone calls finally succeeded in rousing me. (The phone was in the living room, and I wouldn’t hear anything unless I was already close to consciousness).

    Mom, calling from home in Iowa, was screaming and crying at once like I’d never heard before. I learned of the horror all at once:

    “Where were you? Why didn’t you answer the phone? Don’t you know what happened? All hell has broken loose. The country’s been attacked by terrorists. The World Trade Center Towers are gone, razed to the ground. The Pentagon is in flames. There was another plane too that crashed. . . (this was the first I understood that planes were involved) . . . I’ve been calling and calling and so worried when you didn’t answer. . . ”

    I felt a chill, then went completely numb. I have no idea what I said in reply. Mom eventually calmed down. “Turn on the TV.” she said, “I’ll call back.”

    I turned on the TV, and viewed the horror first hand. I didn’t dress that day. I didn’t work. I didn’t even eat because of the knot in my stomach. I just sat in front of the TV for hour as the world changed forever, praying for the victims, proud of the rescuers.

    My mother and sisters had gone with me to the very top observation deck of the Towers when they had visited New York a few years back. I had a very vivid memory of the place, and I even thought I could feel what the people trapped on the upper floors were feeling. . .

    That was the beginning of the world I live in now. I still live in New York, Mom still calls me at every new alert, begging me to be careful on the subways; every low-flying plane still sends that same chill through me. One other thing changed. On September 10, I was just a resident of the city of New York. One 9/11 I became a true New Yorker, because I was so proud of the way my city responded to the attack.

    Dear Lord, please watch over our city, our country and our world, today, tomorrow and always. Amen.

  35. jpkvmi says:

    I was underwater off the coast of Virginia in a submarine preparing fire fighting training for the crew the next day. Never got to that training the next day.

  36. Peggy R says:

    But see Father, Sept 10 was just another day for most of us, feeling safe, secure, in our quiet daily routines of life. Not in a negative sense, but it was like “Groundhog Day” I suppose. Not much to recall for most of us. I was probably in the office at work doing what I usually do on Mondays. Nothing exciting or out of the ordinary. Just living life.

    Then we woke up the next day….and that world was shattered. Everything changed.

  37. cjcanniff says:

    I was in fourth grade. Monday the 10th was the first day of my first full week of school that year; we had had three half days at the end of the preceding week. On the morning of the 10th, my older sister (in 7th grade at the time), my younger brother (in Kindergarten at the time), and I were sitting in the car with our mother out in front of our parish school.

    I recall that my sister had been given a small assignment over the weekend that was due in class that morning. Her teacher, in an attempt to get to know the students’ likes, had given the class a worksheet with a brief scenario on it. The scenario went somewhat as follows:

    “You are on a plane that has been hijacked. The men who took over the plane stop on a desert island to release and leave behind all the passengers before rerouting the flight to an alternative destination. Make a short list of your personal belongings that you would most like to have with you to keep you entertained until you are rescued.”

    In retrospect, such an assignment seems to be inappropriate to hand to a class of 7th graders. My sister was reading the list she had made to my mother while we sat in the car before school. Being only 9 years old, I didn’t know what hijack meant, so I asked my mother. She said, “Hijacking is when bad people take over a plane, but don’t worry, Chris, that doesn’t happen here in America.”

    The next day, I remember the principal stopping by our classroom in the morning. She was standing in the hallway with all the other teachers from the second floor of the building. Prompted by the principal, our teacher stepped outside the room to join them. There was a pane of glass on the door, which I was sitting near. As the principal spoke, I saw a look of shock on the face of my teacher whom I had had the year before (her son lived in NYC; we are from Boston). But being young, I quickly put it out of my mind as my teacher returned to the room and got right back to teaching. A few classmates were inexplicably picked up by their parents throughout the school day, but still nothing of what had happened could have ever crossed the mind of a fourth grader.

    After school, my mother said to me and my siblings as we were driving home that we were not to turn on the TV when we got home. She called the three of us into one room and told us what had happened that morning. The first thing I said to her was, “But, mom, you just told me yesterday that hijacking doesn’t happen here.” She had a heartbroken look on her face as she said to me, “I know, Chris. I didn’t think it would.”

  38. PostCatholic says:

    That Monday afternoon, I was demonstrating software to a potential client in a rented-by-the day business center conference room on floor 93 of World Trade Center Two, before taking Amtrak home to Washington. Kind of hard to forget what I was doing.

  39. Denis Crnkovic says:

    I do not remember. It does not matter. I can easily guess that I went to class and taught some Russian and Russian literature; I could even look up those classes and see who the students were and what the syllabus said; I could see if I have detailed diary entry for that day (probably not – it was uneventful). It does not matter. I remember the next day well, of course. It seems a bit strange to ask about the day before, unless you perceive some sort of “coincidence.” I remember the assassination of John F. Kennedy, but not the day before, and my parents remembered December 7, 1941 – but not the day before – and my grandmother remembered Armistice Day – but not the day before – and her grandmother remembered the day Napoleon died – but not the day before. If you ask anyone, they have an event to rememeber (Do you remember when the Bastille was stormed? Do you remember when they burned Joan at the stake? Do your remember when they crucified that Jesus follower upside down? etc., etc.). Someone can or could recall all of these events, but generally not the day before. I do, however, remember some events that had interesting hours before them,. I clearly recall that on June 27, 1983 I drove on I-95 from the JFK airport to New Haven through Cos Cob, Conn. That night the bridge at Cos Cob on I-35 over the Mianus River – which I had crossed a mere 12 hours before – collapsed. I also remember that in the early afternoon of August 1, 2007 my daughter and I were looking at the Mississippi River in Minneapolis from the newly opened Guthrie Theatre. We both commented on how ugly the bridges were. We watched the play we had come to see and left for southern Minnesota, arriving home at 5 pm just in time to learn that the very bridge we had been looking at had collapsed. Such “coincidences” are all around us. They happen to us every day, even if we are totally unaware of them (btw, read Dr Zhivago for an intersting take on this). In effect they mean nothing unless we realize that everything, absolutely everything, that happens is part of the Divine Plan. We are not special because these things happen, it is just that occasionally we are given the grace to see them. We are very fortunate that we have the capacity to recognize them. In short, we are blessed to have our memory and our reason. Take these personal coincidences for what they are worth: God’s knocking us on the head so we realize that He is still and always among us.

  40. bookworm says:

    Sept. 10 (1994) is my wedding anniversary, so I presume my husband and I were celebrating in some fashion although it wasn’t really fancy. My brother had gotten married on Sept. 8, 2001, and I was a bridesmaid in his wedding so we were kind of celebrated out from that.

    My brother and his bride flew out to Seattle on the 10th to start their honeymoon. They planned to go from there to Vancouver the following day and take a train trip through the Canadian Rockies. They did make it across the border (via train) the next day and did complete their trip, but only after a 4-5 hour delay and repeated searches of the train and everyone’s luggage.

  41. bookworm says:

    “It is very odd being abroad when your country is grieving. My experience in Canada ten years ago was extremely painful,”

    My brother and sister-in-law’s experience was quite the opposite, everyone was as nice and compassionate as could be during their travels across Canada the week after the attacks…granted, they probably got extra sympathy for being not only Americans but also newlyweds whose honeymoon had been overshadowed by this tragedy.

  42. Girgadis says:

    That Monday, I mucked stalls and then took a lesson on my daughter’s mare, and I’m pretty sure it was raining. The only reason the day sticks out in my mind at all is because the Monday prior, the mare won a big class at a local show on a picture-perfect day, and she hadn’t been worked hard since. Although it would not mean much at the time, I clearly recall hearing about the assassination of the Afghan Northern Alliance leader, Massood, and thinking about the courage of men who do what is right, even when they know it will cost them their lives. Little did I realize what an ominous sign his murder was.

  43. capchoirgirl says:

    I was a college sophomore. The Monday before I’d had choir rehearsal at 3:00, where we were working on songs for the homecoming concert the first weekend of October. I’d also had Brit Lit survey 1 that morning. I had a few other classes that day as well, but choir rehearsal was the highlight of the day. We rehearsed in the chapel in the middle of campus, and in early Fall the light came in so beautifully.
    My brother’s 16th birthday was the next day, so I’d called my mom that night to make plans for that. My dad, who worked near my college, would pick me up and bring me back for the dinner/party/cake.

  44. krisvog says:

    My 3 boys (Ages 5 to 1) and I were at the Mall in Washington, DC for the first annual Festival of the Book. Trying to get into one of the buildings was a pain, as I had to empty my stoller for the security! I’m pretty sure that security got a whole lot worse the next day.

  45. krisvog says:

    Actually, that day in DC must have been Sept. 9th! I don’t remember the 10th.

  46. Matthew K says:

    The day before 9/11/01 saw the final meeting of my fiancee and our celebrating priest in preparation of our wedding. We were so excited and filled with hope for the future. One day later, we were stunned and asked ourselves what the future would hold for any children our marriage might produce.

    Ten years hence, we have four boys and lots of joy. But I’ll never forget the horror as the events unfolded.

  47. my kidz mom says:

    September 10, 2001 was the day I buried my mother, after she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.

  48. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    My husband and one of his co-workers/subordinates took a government van from the “pool” and started their “road trip” to visit the various facilities that their office support (criminal investigators, cyber crime). First stop, and most distant Las Vegas.

    I was home with a 14 year old daughter that had just started high school the week prior. We were also still settling into our new house. I think I had something to do with Girl Scouts that Monday, and an appointment on Travis AFB at the VA center to start my disability claim filing on Tuesday, the 11th.

  49. newyork says:

    On September 10, 2011, we had family visiting and after dinner drove around Manhattan to see the sights including particularly the World Trade Center in its last nightime presence. Still unbelievable what the next day brought. Our guests could not get out of New York for a week. With great thanks to God, however, my wife made it to and back from her job on Wall Street the next day and I was safe having only two weeks earlier joined a firm which had its main New York office at the World Trade Center but was in the midtown office at the time.

  50. Mike says:

    Just another day in grade 8 in Catholic School.

  51. Jackie L says:

    Football season was on my mind. the story in Detroit on was the announcement that Ty Detmer would be replacing Charlie Batch as Lions starting quarterback after a miserable opening game a day earlier. I fell asleep that night to MNF as I watched the Denver Bronco’s open their new field against the New York Giants, I was rooting for Denver…I never had much sympathy for anything having to do with New York, until the next morning…

  52. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I give a gold star to Denis Crnkovic. I have had the same kind of experiences. Thank you for steering me to a great book.

  53. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I don’t remember the day before. I remember the day and the horror of learning I had seen two of the victims around school in the commuter cafeteria. And I found out I knew one person on American Flight 11. His father, who died recently, never recovered from the shock.

  54. Marine Mom says:

    Was in Sorrento, Italy enjoying cannoli and espresso.

  55. debval says:

    We were stationed in Oklahoma City (Tinker AFB) and my mom was visiting from Seattle. Just spent the day hanging out with my boys. They do love their grandma.

  56. pinoytraddie says:

    I Remember as A Kid,Saying Goodbye to Mom who was Leaving for A Meeting in Her Hometown,and The Next Day(Evening in The Philippines) I Watch the Attacks with My Dad and Younger Brother.(Coincidentally,My Mom had Dream of Many people falling down on each other,when she woke up she turned on The TV)

    I Was Shocked.

  57. irishgirl says:

    On September 10, I was at work, doing data entry stuff at a large insurance office. Temp job….
    Wow Father Z-you got out of Phoenix on that last flight! Good thing you didn’t fly the next day-we might not have you today!
    Our Lord and Our Lady were certainly looking out for you!
    BTW-the month after 9/11, in October, I was in Albuquerque visiting someone who was a fellow St. Joan of Arc ‘nut’. A few times I sat up to watch the World Series between the Yankees and the D-Backs. I was sad that the Yankees didn’t win-it would have been great to have them win the championship as the city healed from the attacks.

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