Thursday, September 10, 2015


Photo: Michael Foran
Since Friday is reserved for musical posts I offer you this today.

On September 10th, 2001 I flew into Boston on an afternoon flight.  On the morning of September 11th, I was in meetings at a company in New Hampshire when the news broke.  Three of the employees of that company were on the LA flight, all acquaintances.  

It started as a brief interruption, "a small plane had flown into one of the towers", that was the initial story.  It started by running out to the reception desk for a few minutes while taking a break, it ended with us returning to our meeting for a few minutes after spending most of our time at the reception desk and the small television they had there.  That was when we just gave up and called it quits for the day at lunchtime.  

I spent the afternoon with a coworker in a pub outside of Merrimack, NH... the TV running footage constantly, my fellow Yankee patrons becoming more and more incensed.  By the time we decided to call it quits there and get some dinner there was a spirit of camaraderie amongst us not normally found in American bars.

I didn't manage to get in touch with my sister, who lived on the Upper East Side until close to midnight.  She lived in Manhattan and worked in Brooklyn and was passing underneath the towers on the subway or around the time of the first plane strike.  Aside from the spotty phone communications in the city at the time, the reason it took so long to get in touch with her is she walked, home from Brooklyn and over the famed bridge back to her apartment, nothing else was moving.

I had been in New York a few weeks earlier to visit, sometime in the early afternoon we were in Battery Park when my sister asked if I wanted to go up in the towers.  "Nah, I casually replied... already been up there".

In the aftermath we lingered in New England for a little while before giving up on the possibility of a flight out and driving back across the continent.  It was an interesting experience, people waving flags and hanging banners off of interstate overpasses, we were somewhere in the Midwest when flights resumed yet we continued our automotive trek back home.  Somewhere around Kansas City we met a woman in a gas station who noticed our Massachusetts tags... "You're from New England", she asked, "I'm trying to get back home there now".  We admitted that we were from Colorado, coincidentally the license plate her rental wore.  We made the requisite jokes about trading cars to avoid the drop off fee and then went on our way.  It was a long and sobering drive.

Where were you between 08:46, 09:03, 09:37, 09:59, and 10:28 September 11, 2001?  

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