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?