Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today marks a day which changed all of our lives. I find it hard to believe it has been 10 years. I remember that day so vividly. I walked my two youngest kids to the bus stop and came home to Good Morning America on the tv. I always left the tv on when I walked the kids to the bus. I saw the tower on fire and then heard them say it was believed to be plane had crashed into it. It had just happened and there was much confusion. I figured it had to be a small plane and an accident. I phoned my mother as I did every morning at that time while watching the next plane crash into the other tower. That was the moment I knew our lives had changed. I knew it was not an accident. My eyes were glued to the tv all day. I struggled with the decision of leaving my kids at school or bringing them home. I chose to leave them at school so they could have a few more hours of innocence. Being in grade school, I knew my youngest kids were not told much of what transpired. My oldest son was 14 and in high school. His school was a fairly new charter school. They made an announcement. He really didn't understand the magnitude of what had happened until he was home.

That night was surreal. I couldn't help thinking while fixing dinner that night, of the families who would not be together due to this act of terrorism. My heart ached for them. The night was very quiet. We have a busy road that runs behind us and there was not a car on it. The skies were quiet as all airplanes were grounded. In the middle of the night I heard fighter jets flying overhead. Apparently, they were being moved to other locations. I remember feeling very uneasy hearing those jets.

Life changed for all of us that day. Some more than others. Some would never hold their loved ones again. To those people, our hearts go out to you. You do not mourn alone. We mourn with you. We will never forget!

I am editing this post to add this book. I read this long before I knew what a book blog was. I read this when it first showed up in my local library. It is a wonderful, heartwarming side to that fateful day. I highly recommend it.

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede

"For the better part of a week, nearly every man, woman, and child in Gander and the surrounding smaller towns stopped what they were doing so they could help. They placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked for nothing in return. They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such humanity still existed."

When thirty-eight jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001, due to the closing of United States airspace, the citizens of this small community were called upon to come to the aid of more than six thousand displaced travelers.

Roxanne and Clarke Loper were excited to be on their way home from a lengthy and exhausting trip to Kazakhstan, where they had adopted a daughter, when their plane suddenly changed course and they found themselves in Newfoundland. Hannah and Dennis O'Rourke, who had been on vacation in Ireland, were forced to receive updates by telephone on the search for their son Kevin, who was among the firefighters missing at the World Trade Center. George Vitale, a New York state trooper and head of the governor's security detail in New York City who was returning from a trip to Dublin, struggled to locate his sister Patty, who worked in the Twin Towers. A family of Russian immigrants, on their way to the Seattle area to begin a new life, dealt with the uncertainty of conditions in their future home.

The people of Gander were asked to aid and care for these distraught travelers, as well as for thousands more, and their response was truly extraordinary. Oz Fudge, the town constable, searched all over Gander for a flight-crew member so that he could give her a hug as a favor to her sister, a fellow law enforcement officer who managed to reach him by phone. Eithne Smith, an elementary-school teacher, helped the passengers staying at her school put together letters to family members all over the world, which she then faxed. Bonnie Harris, Vi Tucker, and Linda Humby, members of a local animal protection agency, crawled into the jets' cargo holds to feed and care for all of the animals on the flights. Hundreds of people put their names on a list to take passengers into their homes and give them a chance to get cleaned up and relax.

The Day the World Came to Town is a positively heartwarming account of the citizens of Gander and its surrounding communities and the unexpected guests who were welcomed with exemplary kindness.


  1. Life did change that day and it will never be the same.

  2. We all have important stories to share of that day. Thanks for sharing yours!

  3. I live in Oregon, so it was early morning for us. My husband was up getting ready to leave for work and woke me up by telling me that someone had bombed the WTC. It wasn't until I started watching the TV that I learned it was a plane, and then after he left the second one hit. It was such a scary, emotional day - even for us so far away.

  4. Nice post. Being from Canada, I'm especially interested in that book. I'll keep my eye out for it. Lest we forget.

  5. Lovely post Beth. So much has change, hasn't it?

    I am watching the anniversary shows as I catch up with blogs tonight; very sad. Hoping you have a good week.

  6. My kids were 6 and 9 that day. They brought home notes saying that they had not been told anything; that the parents could decide what to say. Also, because our system has a noticeable Muslim population, they decided to close the schools on Friday to let things cool down. My daughter's birthday is 9/12 and she was sure that's why they got the extra day off.


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