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Tuesday, September 11, 2012


11 years.
11 years? Really? 11 already?
It's what everyone's asking today.
Where were you?

It was my freshman year of college.
I was living at home attending SWIC on M,W,F and working part-time at a bank in Steeleville, IL.
It was a Tuesday and I was working the drive-thru.

A customer came through saying he had heard there was a plane crash in New York.
They just announced it on the radio.
How awful! Some terrible accident!
It was the topic of conversation with each customer.

Until one lady came through, saying the same thing...

"Did you hear about the plane crash?"
Yes, we heard about it earlier, how terrible.

"No, there's another one!"
Ok, something's not right....
Airplane malfunctions? Did one accident cause the other? 

We're under attack?

Someone went and found a few radios.
Listening stations were set up.
It was so surreal.

At lunch I went to Dairy Queen and took my lunch to the park.
I sat in my car glued to the radio.

I got off work at 4, but my Dad told me to get gas before I came home because people get crazy when stuff like this happens. I mean, we're in Southern Illinois. A world away from New York. But St. Louis is a big city that's pretty close. Scott Air Force Base is only in Belleville, that's close. With so little information and stories changing, no one was completely sure what to expect.

I didn't get home until after 6pm.
I drove from town to town looking for gas.
Lines everywhere, prices jacked up insanely high.
I finally stopped in Pinckneyville because I figured if I didn't, I'd spend all night driving.

Once at home, glued to the TV.
I had classes the next day and TV's were set up all over campus. 
It's all anyone talked about for weeks.
I was 18.

A few years ago, I saw a documentary on the boats of 9/11.

That sounds silly, doesn't it?
But it was really very interesting. 

Taken from Working Harbor Committee.....

This is the story of the largest maritime evacuation in history. Eleven years ago, on 9/11, over 500,000 people were rescued from Manhattan’s sea walls in just under nine hours.
The city was under attack. The subway was shut down, the bridges closed, commuter rail ground to a halt. Hundreds of thousands of people streamed towards the water’s edge, desperate to get to safety, desperate to get off the island.
Ghost-like, thousands came through the dark, smokey mist. They crowded the seawall 10-deep, crying out for rescue.
Help us. We need help.

Then the Coast Guard made the call. All available boats. Anyone able to help with the evacuation of Lower Manhattan, report to Governor’s Island.
One radio call went out and within minutes, hundreds of tugboats, ferries, fishing boats, coast guard cutters, private boats, party boats, small professional diving boats and other vessels converged on the harbor to do what they could.

“If it floated, and it could get there, it got there,” said Mary Gellatly engineer Robin Jones. As the towers fell, the brave community of mariners who work the waters of New York Harbor rushed towards the disaster.
That day, through the thick, acrid smoke came angels from the water.

The pictures are just amazing.

Giant ferry boats.
Tiny private boats.
Everyone wanted to help.

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