We Remember the Week No Planes Flew

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 24 Comments

flagsThere are days in our lives that we will never forget. The day Pearl Harbor was bombed for those living then. The day President Kennedy was shot. And the 11th day of September 2001. Those past childhood on that day remember exactly where we were when we first heard about the planes flying into the Twin Towers. Some of us were watching the news when that second plane crashed into the other tower. Even more of us were watching when the buildings collapsed.

As we stood transfixed in front of our televisions, we knew we were watching people die. Firemen had run into the buildings to rescue people and lost their lives in that horrible moment when the buildings came down. There were still rescues, miracles of survival, but there were also many who were not rescued. And we watched and thought of how our world was forever changed. Then we prayed. We held hands and looked to the Lord for help, for comfort, for hope in the days to follow.

iphone-2-2013-037I was at home – probably trying to write something, but I really don’t remember that. I do remember my daughter-in-law calling me and telling me to turn on the television since she knew I rarely have the t.v. or radio on during the daytime. I saw the replays of the plane hitting the building over and over and I saw the towers collapse. Even thinking about it now years later, my heart grows heavy.

That year, the National Quartet Convention was being held in Louisville at the fairgrounds. We had tickets for the concerts for the rest of that week, but it was strange. Nobody knew what to do. Should the performers continue on? Should they just cancel all the concerts and send everybody home? In the end, they continued the program with tributes and prayers and patriotic speeches, but there was a surreal feeling to it all. What were we doing? And why?

The fairgrounds is next to the airport in Louisville where there is a busy UPS hub. I remember how very odd it felt with no planes taking off or landing. Normally a plane would be going over every few minutes. But the rest of that week, all planes were grounded. The skies seemed too empty. And, with our innocence lost, we waited and worried about what might happen next. We still wait and worry.

Now we know what can happen. We remember those first responders–the firemen and police officers. We remember our soldiers who volunteer to protect our country and way of life. And we remember those who have given their all in service of our country.

And so we remember.

I took a break from the birthday stories today to remember 9/11. This is a repeat with some edits of a post I wrote on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. But if you comment on this post, you will still get an entry into the drawing. The deadline for entering is midnight EST September 17, 2016. Check out my News and Events page for details of the prizes, etc.

Thanks for reading. What do you remember about that day?

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Comments 24

  1. Sandi Keaton-Wilson

    I felt like my world was already collapsing as my husband was seriously ill in the hospital. It was there we learned about the tragedy.

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  2. Karen Jones

    I never have the TV on during the day, but I had just had both feet operated on the Friday before so on 9/11 I was in the bedroom in my recliner with Good Morning America on the TV. When the first plane struck the building, I like the reporter, thought it must be some kind of accident where a plane had gone off course—you know the rest of the story. Sad and totally, to this day, unbelievable that this occurred in our country! 😢

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      Ann H Gabhart

      We so hoped that first plane striking the tower was a tragic accident, Karen, but then the other plane came. It was all so tragic to watch. We wanted it to be a movie and not really happening, but instead we were witnesses to the horrifying scene. And indeed, it brought out strong patriotic feelings.

  3. Phyllis Miller

    this was a good comment on 9-11 Ann, yes I do remember that day so well. My husband was in bed sleeping after a long night of work at the Ford Motor Co. I remember I went and woke him up and said “Ron, something terrible has happened”! I remember how people ran to the churches and cried and prayed, some had not been to church in years probably, but…people forget so easy…just like the children of Israel would forget the mighty deeds the Lord God did for them. Wonder how many of those same people are still in church today. We need to remember and never forget.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      It was a time when Christians knelt and prayed, Phyllis. May we never forget and continue to ask the Lord’s blessings and protection on our country.

  4. Melissa

    My husband and I were remembering that day in 2011. In the afternoon, there was an eerie silence in the neighborhood. No planes were flying, not many cars were on the road, no train whistles. Just an eerie silence. We thought to ourselves, “God is saying…. “Be still and Know that I am God.” That silence made us pause and remember God is in control.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I too noted that odd silence, Melissa. We do often need to be still and know that God is God. But may those moments be for less tragic reasons in the future.

  5. Fran Foor

    Dear Ann, Thanks so much for this beautiful feeling of how we all felt. We had been at the Trade Center, the day before they hit it. We also took a boat trip and have a picture of us with the Trade Center behind us. We left New York that afternoon and drove to Boston to visit friends. Stayed at a hotel and the next morning was downstairs eating breakfast when it came on TV. Talk about shocked, that is saying it mildly. Our friends called us at the hotel and told us to head home, because they had closed all roads into Boston, which we were going downtown that day. We said our goodbyes and took many back roads trying to get to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. All main thoroughfares were shut down. It definitely is a day we will always remember. God bless America!!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Wow, Fran. You were only a day away from perhaps being right in the middle of it all. I’m sure that made it even more horrifying for you and then to be trying to get home with everything shut down. All that would be stamped forever in your memories. And truly, may God bless America.

  6. Marihelen Ligon

    I remember that I had just made my usual 25 mile jaunt to work at the Gastroenterologist’s office where I worked. I didn’t listen to the radio on the way because I always had an audio book playing. When I got in I was the first there back in the business office suite and I got all of the lights on and started the coffee. About the time I heard everyone else come in speaking very animatedly, my husband called, beside himself and asked if I could get to a television set. I told him, not easily and he then told me about the first plane. We talked a minute then hung up and I went to speak to everyone else in my office. A few minutes later my phone started ringing again and it was my husband telling me about the second plane and while we were talking he then interrupted to tell me about the plane going into the Pentagon. I spent the rest of the day trying to get radio coverage and trying to work in a complete fog.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      It was like that, Marihelen. Life went on, but we were all in a kind of shock, grieving for the loss of life and apprehensive about what might happen next. Security tightened everywhere and prayers went up all across the country.

  7. Lisa Bragg

    I remember looking at my husband , after the second plane hit, and saying ” but, this is America” He said it doesnt matter to them , Lisa. That whole day is etched in my mind so clearly.What a sad day it was.

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  8. carol ellmore

    When that second tower fell I couldn’t believe all of this was real, it was like watching a horror movie. When the flag was raised at sports events that week everybody stood up and sang the National Anthem and cried for the USA. I was cleaning our church and the pastor and family were glued to the little tv in his office when I arrived home the towers fell. I have been crying on September 11th for 15 years now.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      It’s something we will never forget, Carol. So very sad watching that and then hearing all the stories of victims later. The bravery of the men and women on that downed airplane. The firemen who perished trying to save others. All that and more. A reason for tears.

  9. Carolyn H. Johnson

    I was Charge Nurse at a local Assisted living at the time. While doing my rounds, I noticed everybody heading for the TV room where several residents were getting very excited. I went in and saw it all almost from the beginning. i remember one older gentleman in a wheel chair shouting about the Russians and he said, ” I knew those Russians were going to get us someday!” I think we were in and out of that room all day , and only the really necessary things got taken care of. I haven’t worked there since 2003, but those people I was with and all the confusion and heartache we experienced together will always be with me.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Thank you for sharing your memories about that day, Carolyn. It was a traumatic experience just in the watching. I can’t imagine how it was for those people on scene.

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