Morning of Infamy

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Morning of Infamy

It wasn't like it was yesterday, rather it was like a dimly remembered dream from the distant past.

It was not unlike the time in October 1970 I awoke in my GI "mummy bag" in a cabin in the woods outside of Jackman, Maine, with a vivid and detailed recollection of something that could never have occurred.

It took me the bulk of that day to sort through that memory before I was able to satisfy my­self that it had in fact been a bizarre dream.

(I've reflected many times since then that day that had not the nearest telephone been a six mile hike along the Canadian Pacific Railway bed, I'd've mightly embarrassed myself calling back here to ask the other person I imagined was involved, about the event.)

11 September 2001 was a long time ago even at my present stage of life when ten years isn't all that much.

The previous evening I had been up late put­ting the finishing touches on a page on my website which, in retrospect, took on an eerie prescience, and had "slept in."

I was still asleep at 8:46 a.m. when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north side of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Something in the tone of the sound coming from MSNBC (which had turned on automat­ically two hours earlier), drew me into con­sciousness shortly thereafter.

I was sitting up in bed watching NBC News coverage by 9:02 am, and was still trying to make sense of the words and images of the strike on WTC 1, when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the south side of the South Tower at 9:03 a.m.

By then, it dawned on me just what had hap­pened, and that not only wasn't this a coin­cidence, it was a deliberate and hostile action.

Then the realization struck that one of my Lodge 1201 brothers worked at Thacher Proffitt & Wood which occupied three floors of the World Trade Center, and I became extremely concerned for Tim's safety.

While I'm still watching, gape-jawed, MSNBC's coverage of the crash sites, wondering how Tim is doing, the 'phone rings at 9:48 a.m.

"Dean, it's Tim... Vikki, Maddy and I are at San Francisco International and they just cancelled our flight back to New York. They say all flights have been grounded. What the hell's going on?"

(One big whew! to cross off my list... I'd forgotten that he, his wife and daughter had been vacationing in California.)

I related what I knew, suggesting that he quickly find some accommodations for the immediately future, because it didn't seem as if they would be flying anywhere anytime soon.

An hour or so later I tried calling him back to let him know that the Towers were no longer standing, but couldn't get through.

Ten years later, and I think that Tim was the only one I knew who worked in the World Trade Center, but by happenstance, he was 3,000 miles away when the aeroplanes hit.

That's my only memory of that day, and that place.

Not that I don't have other reminders of that day and that event...

These kinda stay with one....


1. Barbara Ramsay said...

Steve and I were in the air flying to California. The plane landed in Iowa. We were told there was a problem with air traffic control. Of course once we got into the terminal we saw everyone crowded around the TV. After a few days in a hotel we were able to rent a car and drive home. I'll never forget the sight coming upon NYC with the change in the skyline and what was left of the towers smoldering in the distance. Flags were flying everywhere. Lost. A good friend that day. Such senseless hatred.

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