Today many people are reflecting on 09/11 and how they were affected by it. I had no personal ties to any of those who died.
My dealings were different. Curt and I worked second shift at The Arizona Republic. We were asleep when the first tower was hit and asleep when both towers had fallen.
My mom waited until about 8:30 a.m. and then called us. She woke us up. Curt answered the phone and then handed the phone to me and turned on the TV. I was confused and didn't understand what my mom was saying. She was very upset and said something about planes and one crashed in Pennsylvania and she and my stepdad were supposed to fly to Pittsburgh later that week.
For the rest of the morning Curt and I just watched TV.
We eventually got ready and headed to work. Some of my co-workers had been called in to work on an EXTRA. The newsroom was buzzing. Anyone who had the day off was called in. We all worked long hours, worked on our days off and a team that normally put out one daily newspaper was putting out two for a week.
The Republic newsroom has a lot of TVs. They were usually on but without sound. That week was one of the few times we had the volume up.
I experienced 09/11 as an American, a citizen and a journalist. It was hard, sad, tiring, exhausting and tough. But I was proud of the products we produced every day, whether it was the daily paper or the Extra.
I remember a couple of days in someone made a joke--probably inappropriate (but journalists have a different sense of humor) and it all gave us the laugh we so needed. Later that night we went out for drinks. Also needed.
Curt and I flew to Missouri about a month after the 09/11 terrorist attacks. It was an interesting world being at airports with armed men.
I am OK with all the rules that are in place to keep us safe. Some may be a pain: taking your shoes off; going through scanners; long lines; liquid restrictions. But isn't our safety worth it?
09/11 has some other meanings/significance to me as well. On the first anniversary of 09/11 Curt proposed. He was working at a different paper at the time and got off work at about 5 a.m. He
came home and woke me as he figured I would want to watch the ceremonies. Curt seemed to be acting a little weird that morning. But I couldn't figure out what was going on. Eventually I told him I had to go back to bed as I knew work would be busy with anniversary coverage. Then he proposed. And I couldn't go back to sleep. I don't know why he picked that day. Maybe he just finally got the guts to do it.
In 2004, on 09/11 my nana died. She was briefly ill for a second time. When I was in high school Nana had an aneurysm explode in her brain. She, by some miracle, survived it, but she was never the same Nana.
Nana was at my wedding and looked beautiful and had a great time. I am grateful that she was there.
The following year she died from a heart thing. I saw her weeks before she died. And I talked to her the night before she died.
She is pictured to the right when she was much younger. She was a beauty--inside and out. She was probably one of the most genuine people I ever knew.