Sunday, September 11, 2011

What 09/11 means to me

My brother and me in front of the twin towers circa 1989.

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.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said! I love all your photo picks... especially of you and John and the twin towers.
Love -Mama

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your nana was very beautiful

Friday, November 11, 2011 3:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Robert Ziegler said...

Dear Ann,


while browsing through the internet today I found the image "My brother and me in front of the twin towers circa 1989." on your webpage. The picture is really beautiful!!! - so I have to contact you immediately to ask you wether you like to participate in our project:

three years ago we -Robert Ziegler and Stefka Ammon- started working on our private project MY_WTC. It is our goal to explore the question of the site' s myth via (mostly) tourists' photographs of the World Trade Center in New York City (August 5th 1966 - September 10th 2001). Also we would like to find out why so many people took pictures of themselves in front, on top of, inside or next to the WTC. Our project is about exploring the "specific aura" of the World Trade Center from the angle of tourists from all over the world.

On our photo-blog www.my-wtc.com you can see pictures submitted from many places and, this is important to us too, you can also comment on pictures with your memories and associations. We hope to create a vivid exchange. We would be very happy if we arouse your interest with our MY_WTC project. It would really be wonderful if you also submit your great picture! Maybe even with some comments or descriptions (year, reason for photograph...)

In any case we are very much looking forward to hearing from you! Best greetings from sunny Berlin, Germany

Best Robert and Stefka

Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:25:00 AM  
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