I haven’t forgotten…

I am so torn every year on September 11th. It is my sweet niece’s birthday, but it is also that fateful day that we all remember as 9/11.

I wrote about it last year on the 5-year anniversary. And it has been on my mind again today, as I’m sure it will be every year. I wasn’t going to write about it again this year, and then I realized that last year’s entry is in our old journal. And since I really want to make sure that the story is saved somewhere for the girls, I think I’ll re-post last year’s entry.

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(Reposted from September 11th, 2006)

I really wanted to write this yesterday, but just didn’t get a chance to get all my thoughts down. Five years ago yesterday was the day the world knows as 9/11, has it really already been five years? When I think back to that day, I just thank God that I am here to remember it.

I’m sure everyone remembers that day, for our generation it will always be like the day Kennedy was shot for our parents’ generation. I really want to make sure that I write about my 9/11 somewhere, so the girls will know the story and have a glimpse of how that day affected me.

The week before 9/11 I had been traveling for work on the East Coast, and was very upset that I had to stay over the weekend in Washington DC, all because of one meeting on Monday. So my co-worker Peggy and I wasted some time wandering around DC on Saturday. And, I did get up early on Sunday to visit the Holocaust museum – which is incredibly moving and emotional, and well-worth the time and tears – so the whole weekend was not entirely lost.

But when we got to our meeting on Monday it lasted…30 minutes. 30 MINUTES! We were, needless to say, disheartened and ready to go home. As soon as we left the so-called meeting, we called the airport to see if there was any flight we could get on, just to get us home earlier. Thankfully, there was a flight that left that evening. So we got back to SF on Monday night.

I woke up to the phone ringing on Tuesday morning. It was a friend of mine who didn’t even say “hi” – her only words were, “Thank God you are there. Turn on your TV and call me later.” And that is how I found out about the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.

I sat and watched the TV for hours straight. It didn’t really register at first the magnitude of what I was watching, until I heard that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon. A United flight, leaving from Dulles airport on Tuesday morning, heading for California. I felt my heart stop. That could have been my plane. I was supposed to be on a United flight, leaving Dulles airport on Tuesday morning, heading to California.

I started shaking and I am pretty sure that I went through the same symptoms that people in shock experience. I did manage to call my parents and my boss to let them know that I was in fact in San Francisco, not in DC, where everyone thought I was. The next few days were just a hazy fog. Peggy and I talked a little about “what could have been” but mostly I just wrote it off as “man, I was soooo lucky.” It must’ve not been my time to go.

Every year, I think the same thing. Until this year. I don’t know what it is about this year but I just can’t stop thinking about everything I would missed out seeing and experiencing. Mainly having our girls.

I just can’t even imagine not getting to carry them in my belly and feel their first movements, seeing them come into the world and take their first breaths, hearing their first cries, watching and helping them to grow into the wonderful little girls they are becoming.

And most of all, I can’t imagine not being able to hold them tight and realize how truly lucky and blessed I am.

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5 Responses to “I haven’t forgotten…”


  1. 1 ksmcnulty September 11, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you for reposting this. Not only do I think about how tragic this day was for all those families that lost loved ones and what a horrific attack it was on the USA, but I also thank God on this day that I still have my best friend. I remember almost being scared to call you that day for fear that you may have not been there; I am ever so grateful that you are still with us. I love you Carrie Ann.

  2. 2 Colleen September 11, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you for posting this again.

    I was in Hoboken, NJ when the towers went down. I was teaching in a preschool classroom and we had a view of the towers from our classroom window. Fortunately the shades were drawn (it was a very beautiful and sunny day). We heard from others what was going on… and couldn’t help but set the children to free play and see for ourselves. How do you believe when another teacher comes to your door and says a plane flew through the building??? Is it possible to say in one sentence that that day went by in a haze… but oh so clearly? At the time I felt so far away from the towers… but realize now how close I was. I have such vivid memories of riding the train home that afternoon, surrounded by people covered in building debris, wet from having been rinsed off by volunteers outside of the ferry and train station. So silent.

  3. 3 Christina September 12, 2007 at 8:37 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. The memory of that day is seared into my mind, too. I still rememebr the horror when I first heard the news…

  4. 4 Elisa September 12, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Oh my – I did not know that story and it sent chills down my spine as I read it! Needless-to-say, I’m so glad you got that earlier flight!!!

    Everyone will remember where they were when they heard what happened…..it was an eerie walk to school that morning. I had managed to keep the kids from seeing what happened but I was glued to the tv when I got home.

    My husband had called to say that he heard about some fluke accident where a plane hit a building. As we sat there watching, me at home and him at work, the second plane hit. (at first we thought it as a replay of the first strike) This was no fluke. We were scheduled to leave on 9/18 for a work conference in Williamsburg and we had extended our plans so we could spend time in DC. I remember saying to DH that we were not going to DC. He kept saying, let’s see what happens, let’s see what this really is. I called him again to say that I think the pentagon had gotten hit and said, “We are absolutely NOT going to DC next week.”
    It turned out that was not a decision we needed to make. The conference was rescheduled for 6 months later (and only DH went). All that week we received calls from our Senator’s office and the Capitol building as they called to tell us the tours we were scheduled to attend were cancelled. Oh so eerie.

    There was a mass the next day at our church. Our whole family attended and tears just streamed down my face throughout….it was so painful for our country and all our citizens. There was a commotion over near the choir towards the end of mass, perhaps it was after Communion. We weren’t sure what it was about but the people seemed to be joyfully interacting with each other. We found out later that one of our parishioners had been in the WTC when it was hit. He was in the second building to get hit and despite the assurances that they should wait in their offices, divine intervention led him to leave the building. The details are so sad – no one should ever witness carnage like that. The commotion near the choir was this man returning home from NY. He had managed to get out of town on a train, got a rental car from somewhere and drove straight home. He knew there was mass and the church was the first place he stopped when he got home.

    Sorry the comment went on so long – such a subject certainly evokes lots of memories for all.

  5. 5 Stacy September 13, 2007 at 6:29 am

    Wow, thank you for reposting this. After 9/11 I had an email forwarded to me from my boss. It was from someone he knew that was in one of the towers for a meeting when the plane hit. It was eerie getting a first hand recounting of what happened and what he went through in getting out of NYC. We had two weddings to go to that weekend, and I felt so sorry for the brides and grooms. Some of their extended families were unable to make it due to the grounded planes and their big days were overshadowed by everyone talking about it. It is definitely a defining moment for our generation.


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