Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th, memories...

I didn't start my blog until November of last year, so I didn't blog here about September 11th.

I know this is a WoW blog mainly, but it is also my blog and though September 11th and all that happened doesn't really belong to WoW... it belongs to me.

I always get emotional thinking about September 11th and all that happened. It could be April and I'd cry thinking about it.

This is an open invitation for people to share their memories of that day, if they so desire. In my comments, or in their own blog. Because we should never forget that day, we should never forget those innocent people in the planes, the buildings, nor the heroes that ran in when everyone else was running out.


My father is a retired NYC Firefighter. My mother at the time was an active police officer in the 115th Precint.

I was in Missouri, working as a veterinary technician. My brother was living in Florida.

I was working in the surgery suite that morning. My boss liked to listen to talk radio when he was doing surgery. I sort of tuned most of it out, typical talk radio hosts, inflammatory, incendiary comments, etc.

I heard my boss say something about did a plane think King Kong was on top of the building or something. I don't remember that clearly, because I think I asked him, "Huh?". He told me that a plane hit a building in New York.

Like most people that day, we thought it was an accident, a little two engine two passenger plane or something flown by an amateur. A tragedy, certainly, but not life altering for more than a few people in the plane and the building where it hit.

Then the office manager came in and said that another plane had hit. And it snowballed from there.

My mother is a cop. Oh God, she's going to be there!

My father is a heroic man who used to run into burning buildings to save strangers for a living. He's going to GO there if he isn't already there! (He also worked downtown as the owner of a contracting company that worked in a lot of the high rise buildings.)

I tried to call... but nothing was going through. I called my mother's precint... busy.

I called my father's cell phone. He picked it up. He told me that he just saw a plane fly into the tower. He was down there. He had to go.

I didn't hear anything else for infinity. I called, and called, and called. Buildings were falling down. People were dead. Planes were crashing into the Pentagon and into a forest in Pennsylvania. And I didn't know where my parents were.

I worked, because otherwise I'd have been a basket case wailing on the floor in the bathroom. I called as soon as I was done with one task and before I began another. I was in a fog and a haze and my coworkers were a blessing to me that day.

Finally, I got through to the 115 Precint. I asked: "Is police officer Warren there?" ... or maybe not that exactly, but it had been drilled into me since I was a little girl that when I called my mom at work, I was to ask for "Police Officer Warren".

My voice was well known, my mother, being my mother, tells everyone about her kids. What mom doesn't? So they knew who I was. And I remember being told, "Your parents are okay."

I don't remember much of the rest of the day. My work sent me home, because after that I think I did break down. It was safe to break down now.

My then boyfriend, my now husband, came home from work, I can't remember if it was early or just on time or what. And I remember crying. I remember thinking that I had to get in a car and drive to New York. I remember thinking that if I found out that they weren't alright, I'd have to get there, somehow.

I was lucky, and blessed. I didn't lose my parents. I know people who lost siblings, friends, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers.


Later, I learned that my mother, who was a senior officer in her precint, was SUPPOSED to have gone down there that morning, when the first plane hit, before they realized how serious it was going to be. But she didn't because she was needed at the precint to run some very specialized paperwork that only one or three people could do. And she was the best at it.

The squad that she was supposed to have gone with, if she wasn't needed at the desk, was buried in rubble for a few hours. They all made it out alive.

I learned that my father, as I thought he would do, found out what was happening, went home from the golf course. He grabbed his old fire fighting equipment. He got on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. And he drove there.

He was one block from the first tower when it collapsed. He was going there. He was going to go in there, where his firefighting friends were, where his old ladder company was. He was one block away from being gone.

My parents attended more funerals in a few months than I hope to ever have to see in a lifetime. They buried friends. Colleagues. Brothers and Sons.

My father was briefly famous... News Max magazine had a picture of him on their cover. There's a picture of a tired firefighter with a lined face, in a dusty helmet, saluting while looking up at the sun. That's him. He was at the last funeral for the firefigthers that were lost. He wasn't in his dress uniform, he was in what he wore when he first went down there. My dad is sentimental like that.

There's a documentary by two French filmmakers that was in NYC at the time, filming a rookie firefighter. It was supposed to just be a documentary on rookie firefighters. It turned into something more. It brought you into Ground Zero with the filmmakers.

There's a motorcycle in one or two scenes outside the firehouse that day. That motorcycle is my father's motorcycle.

When I think about how close I was to losing them... how many people died... how horrible that day was and the changes that happened afterwards... I cry. Freely I cry. Openly I cry. Without shame.

Never forget.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I cant even imagine the feelings that were going through you. I am shameless proud of the people that went to the trade Center because they knew it was RIGHT. Like your mother. Like your fater. I, for one, will NEVER forget that day.

  2. I proposed to my wife a few hours before the planes hit the twin towers. Yes, it was about 3am when I did it lol. We're night people =). So from the horrible day I still take a great memory.