Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 Memories

Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing 6 years ago.

Here are my memories.
I was working for an air medical transportation company. Actually, at the time, Rocky Mountain Helicopters was the largest air medical transport company in the nation. I just happened to be the receptionist at its headquarters as well as its switchboard operator. As you can imagine, it was a big deal.

The FAA grounded all of our crews. I had two pilots call me and frantically ask me what they were supposed to do with the dying patient on their aircraft. Since I didn't know what to tell them, I called our flight operations officer, who was traveling, to tell him what had happened in NYC.

Me: Karl, what am I supposed to tell these pilots?
Karl: What are you talking about?
Me: Turn on a television, sir.
Karl: What do you mean? what channel?
Me: I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter.
Time passes while he finds his hotel remote control.
Karl: *#@%!

It was so surreal. I remember I was pregnant with Bradley. I even remember I was wearing my purple maternity shirt from Gap with my black slacks. I remember becoming robot-like as I answered the hundreds of phone calls and, without emotion, told them all they were grounded - no exceptions - that the flight medics would have to do their best.

I remember coming home to Steven watching - no glued to - the news (like everyone else). Our friends Brad and Brian were at our apartment watching, too. Day after day. Like we were waiting for something else to happen. The news became a little more important to us after that day. In fact, since then, Steven has read CNN headlines daily.

No one knew what to do. Classes were canceled, meetings postponed. No one knew what was appropriate behavior. I didn't necessarily "experience" it or "survive" it. I didn't know if it was appropriate to even laugh all day ... all week. I remember the solemness of everything. The flags flying low for weeks.

I remember the good that came. The lines of people waiting to donate blood. The heroic tales of people going back in. The over-crowded churches.

These are some of my memories. What are yours?


Emma said...

Great post Mindy. Funny, I just did the same thing!

Jodie Haney said...

Great idea...I am going to write about it on my blog, too.

MIL said...

It's taken me all day to be able to respond to your beautiful message about 9/11. I remember that Tuesday so vividly! I knew I needed to be calm when I arrived at school because I knew there would be many children and staff members who would be upset. So many questions and it was important for me to help keep everyone calm and "on task" as the next days and weeks moved along. I remember coming home that night and calling all four sons to tell them and their families how much I loved them. I'm not sure they even remember that, but it was important to me. In 2002, my brother and I took our Dad back to his roots in NJ and NY for his 80th birthday. When we arrived at Ground Zero, I was so moved by being there, I couldn't talk to Dwight when I called to tell him we were there. It was more than a spiritual moment! I just looked at the photo album I made from our trip and wish I could share pictures of Ground Zero with you. I am again in tears as I think about wanting the best that America has to offer for our beloved grandchildren and their children..

Audra said...

Mike, the boys, and I were up in Washington with all my family for Adam's missionary farewell. Mike and David had a flight home on Sept. 11. Of course they were canceled and I am glad they were able to spend the next couple of days with all the family.

We didn't do much after Sept. 11 other than watch the news. Our hearts were too heavy. But I was so grateful to be with my whole family during that time.

janet said...

I was playing with my baby in our tiny BYU married housing complex.. just a staircase away from yours. My aunt called me to turn on the news, and I was in shock. I was watching before the second plane hit and when it did, I just sat on the couch and didn't move. Ben was just two months old. He was wearing a red button up shirt and I was still in my pj's when Aaron got home from school. Although I was in shock, I don't think it hit me until a couple of weeks later.. so terribly tragic. Time has flown by for me since then and I feel guilty because there are so many people out there who's lives are changed forever..

Anonymous said...

Hey Mindy. I remember working with you at Rocky and remember all of us sitting in the executive board room watching the TV all day long. Such a sad day. I remember that purple shirt too. :) I have a video of you on Halloween wearing that scary black costume. I will have to upload it for you. Hope you are well.
JoLynn Cowan Hancock

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