The 9-12 Project of Central PA

"You Are NOT Alone!"

HISTORY; 9-11 - Where were you?

9-11...

Where were you?

What did you learn?

How did this impact you personally?

swanson



How did this terror event impact you personally and your own approach to security and survival?

Here's some headlines following that dreaded day in history -



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I was in Michigan visiting family. We were all packed for our return (my wife and dogs) and having a last cup of coffee, when Fox news cut in to announce the first collision.

While watching live coverage of the first tower's fire the second one was hit - I couldn't figure out if it was a replay - I wanted to believe that it was. I seemed to be in an altered state of mind - not wanting to believe what I was seeing; unable to figure out how 2 planes could go so off course...............

Then they announced that it was a terrorist's attack. My wife immediately said: "bin Laden" - to her credit as I had no idea who he was. A faint memory knew he had something to do with Afghanistan.

We delayed our departure until the next day and watched the coverage until late into the night.
When we returned to PA, I went to the lake to think and noticed how empty the sky was. Scary empty. And then I saw a couple of faint contrails very high and knew that they were our military patrolling.

It finally sunk in that life in these Untied States would never be the same again. I was really hoping that the projected unity of our Politicians (i.e. them singing on the Capitol steps) was real and that a change had occurred. That was too good to be true.

Since then I have read and studied and tried to understand the Islamists' (the Fundamentalist Muslims) way of thinking - still trying to comprehend the depth of their hate.

I have tried to learn about personal protection, personal responsibility, and the world's political and social functions and interactions.

And I have tried to prepare as best as I can for the next attack - whether it comes or not.
Reading all the previous post has brought back the tears and emotions of that day and days, weeks and years that have followed . . .

On September 11th, 2001, I was with my collogues in the basement of our office. We were gathered in our weekly "sales meeting" room. It was a Tuesday. Our meeting was winding down when suddenly our bookkeeper burst into the room not make a whole lot of sense. She said her husband had called and told her to turn on the TV right away as a plane had flown into the World Trade Center.

As we watched the reports on TV it was unclear what was happening. It was speculated that a small plane had flow into The Tower . . . but why and how! It was a horrific scene and the plane looked much larger then a "small plane!" It was a terrible accident . . or was it an accident . . . no one seemed to know but everyone wondered.

By this time, some agents had started to leave for the tour of home that were on our schedule. We were all REALTORS and Tuesdays are the day we see all the homes that are new to the market. I had a very unique property with an artist studio on tour that day and had to beat the other agents to the home to unlock the door.

I had the privilege of working along side my Mom in real estate for more then 18 years. On that day Mom and I jumped in my car for the long drive through back country roads toward the Marango Road area. We had the Mike Gallagher Program on the radio on 1390. It was about that time we learned there was a second plane that had flown into the other tower. We both know we were under attack . . .but who and why would someone want to kill perfect strangers for no reason . . .nothing was making sense. I remember not understanding and we both repeated "why" over and over again . . .

We got to the house . . . . turned on the TV and a group of us watched in horror! The reports were all over the place . . . 100 of thousands were feared dead . . . planes were missing . . . more hijackings were being reported . . . it was all an unbelievable horrific blur. . .

Nothing was making sense . . . I could not go back to "normal" not then not now . . .

I went home and silently cried as I watched round the clock news coverage . . . day and night . . . I have not stopped watching, reading and listening to the news to try to make sense of our changed world . . . searching for the answer to . . . why!

Sometime during that day . . . I went into a cross between freaked out Mom and survival mode. I had a daughter in her freshman year of college at Penn State living in one of the high rise dorms on campus . . . . my other daughter was a senior in high school. Not knowing who was safe and who was not . . . I call my daughter on campus and demanded she immediately come home until we could figure out what was happening. My other daughter arrived home from school a short while later. My husband after that . . . none of us felt safe, non of us know "why" . . . we were all extremely sad . . . the horror just kept getting worse . . .

By the next morning survival mode hit me full force, but with a sense of priorities . . . I "needed" . . . "had" to find an American flag to place on my car. I found one of those flapping flags that attached to the window . . . I put it on my car feeling awkward but compelled. I looked no one in the eye as I drove with determination but got many head nods, flashed lights and thumps up . . . we were all silently connected . . . we all understood. My next stop was to Sam's Club. I grabbed a flat bed cart and filled it high with water and other supplies . . . others were doing the same . . . all had solemn faces, no one said a word but we all understood each other's fears.

In the weeks that followed I made mental plans of how we would survive the next attacks. I made purchases of survival items . . . I was not going to become a victim. We were all changed on that day . . . forever.

As the weeks and months passed . . . many of my daughter's friends enlist in the military . . .one by one they went off to defend America, our freedoms and our way of life. While I understood and knew the necessity, I prayed my daughters would not get any ideas . . . I need them home and safe. Then the day came when my daughter Jennie said she had enlisted . . . I freaked out once more . . . . she calmly said 'Mom . . . if everyone had the same fears and altitude you do, there would be no one to fight for our freedoms and our country . . . this is something I had to do' . . . at 20 she had more wisdom them I. I am now the proud Mom of a Navy Corpsman stationed on Guam!

On 911 our lives were changes forever . . . my biggest fear now is that others have forgotten the horror of that day and how lives can be shatter in an instant by people with extreme, irrational hatred toward strangers they do not know.

May our values be reinforced, our lives not be taken for granted and . . . may we never forget . . .


Shawn . . . thanks for reminding us . . .
On 11 September 2001, I was at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA, awaiting my final flight in crew cheif school. I had just gotten to the hanger and they were saying that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center and I thought it was a small engine plane; as we did not have the full information yet.

We went up to the breifing room of my squadron and it was there that we witnessed the second plane hit the tower and the first thought that went through my head was that my entire Marince Corps career had just changed. I remembered the first bombing of the WTC and I thought, I hope this time we go after the people responsible for this.

I joined the Marine Corps in the summer of 2000, I was about a month into Boot Camp when the USS Cole got bombed and I thought that was it, we are going to war. You know what, nothing happened, we did nothing to fight back for this attack. I was very upset that America as a nation would allow an attack like this against our military to occur and do nothing. While I understand the compasion that people felt for the victims of the WTC, my greatest feeling was rage; I was angry at the terrorists who would dare to attack us on our own soil, but also I was angry that these terrorist acts had been occuring for the past decade and our government had done nothing to fight back.

When 9-11 happened, I was very pleased to see America pull together to help one another in a time of greif, I was pleased to see the amount of true patriotism in America. September 12, 2001; the next day; we pulled together and collectively we said WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE THIS ANYMORE, and we as a nation decided we wanted to go after the people responsible for this. While at the same time, this anger also became a feeling of pride. We were proud to be free.

When I joined the Marine Corps, I knew there was a possibilty that war would occur during my enlistment; and I was prepared for that: but I didn't forsee it being so soon. 9-11 changed my career in the Marine Corps, from an enlistment during peacetime, to the certainty that I would see combat during that time. In January of 2002, I was deployed for the first time to the Horn of Africa, and during that time, I also saw combat in Afghanistan. I was and still am proud to serve the people of this great nation.

The experience of 9-11 and my subsequent tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq forever changed my life forever. Now, I see a President, an admistration and a Congress that is more than happy to extend a hand to international terrorists; while at the same time turn its back on the very men and women who have fought and died or fought and lost to give them the very right to say and do the things that they are doing now. I did not serve the people of this country to see us elect someone who would jump into bed with the very people that have cause so much devistation in this country. They call us extremists cause we want to restore America to a country with Honor, Integrity, and Values. I call them extremists for beleiving that we are going to just lay down and watch them change this country into the very thing that we have fought against for over 200 years.

In August 2000, I joined the United States Marine Corps because I love America. I voluntarily fought in Iraq and Afghanistan because I love Amercia. While I am no longer an active duty or reserve Marine, I will forever be a Marine.

I love America and I am proud to sevre and still serve the people of America.

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