Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

My parents were flying over to Europe for the very first time to see my sister in Holland. They flew right out of the JFK airport and were actually in the air when the attacks happened. My hubby and I were in the Azores, Islands on an US air force base in Portugal watching helplessly as the world stopped. I remember that first day, and over and over news kept repeating, "As of right now, we do not know if the airplanes were heading to Europe or to the West Coast. We do know they were full of fuel and obviously heading long distances." Never had an eight hour flight lasted so long for me. When I heard my Mom and Daddy's voices on the phone I cried like I have never cried before. A week later we flew to Holland and met them there. Life was too short to worry about saving the money for something more practical.

In Holland and in Germany the grounds of US Embassy's were littered with thousands upon thousands of floral bouquets and prayers and notes. At least waist high. It was the coolest thing I think I have ever seen. We were heroes everywhere we went. People wanted to know how we felt and everyone told us how much they loved Americans and were praying for them. But most of them where just as scared and as shaken up as we were. I can't begin to tell you how many Europeans said to me these exact words. "Wow! If it can happen to America, no one is safe." And then right after, this sentence or something similar always followed: "You will do something to protect us, won't you?"

So I have to ask... Where were you when the world stopped turning?

Jenni James


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this! It is so amazing to me sometimes what something like this does to people. We will never forget!!

  2. I'll certainly never forget that day. I was sitting in my last class of the day at LHS, and we were suddenly put into lockdown. We turned on the TV only to see those images flash across the screen over and over and over again. Some dumb kid started pointing and laughing and saying "Hey they just flew airplanes into a!" My teacher turned and gave him the darkest look I have ever seen and said, "The world is being attacked. Have a sit and shut up." It was such an intense moment, and it has been an intense situation for the world since then.

    P.S. I got Mr. Octopus on Monday and he looks so cute in my classroom! The kids LOVE him! :) Thanks again!

  3. I was in school too and my teacher was late to class and then suddenly he ran into the room flipped on the tv and the heaviest most anxious silence fell over everyone. Most of us were so shocked by the whole thing that we were numb for the longest time. After a while they sent all of us home and we were escorted by some of the airmen from base, all had their huge guns at the ready. It was a terrifying day.

  4. I'd just put my 9-, 10-, and 11-year-olds on the bus for school and suddenly got weak and very nauseated. I turned on the TV and stretched out on the couch, trying to ignore the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, when the news flashed across the TV of the first terrorist's target. *shudder*