9/11 Where were you?


We’re approaching another commemoration of the 9/11 tragedy. The occasion always catches me by the throat. I’m thrust back to that day at Riverside Applied Learning Center when my assistant principal and secretary, and I were suddenly thrown by the appearance of parents arriving for their children at the beginning of the day, just after we’d said the Pledge of Allegiance, Sung the National Anthem, and repeated our school pledge: “I am respectful, I am responsible, I am safe. I am prepared. We do our best work because we are here to learn.” We had no TV in the office. Some of the classrooms had them. But I couldn’t have watched as we were swamped making sure every child went with the appropriate parent. photo(71)

The school was small about 300 students. I can’t imagine the chaos that must’ve come with more children and parents to deal with. Family issues boil over and involve schools. When parents split, there are usually legal documents stating who gets the child and when. Making sure every child goes where he/she is supposed to is a vital concern for school personnel. It was so even on the morning of 9/11/2001. Parents were frantic to get their children. Some parents couldn’t get away from work. I think the last student went home about six pm.

 Riverside Applied Learning Center

We managed, but it was hectic. And then none of us knew what was going on. Should we expect other attacks? Our school sat very near large oil containers. If these were hit, we’d pretty much be done for.

 I wrote in the intro to ACT OF TRUST, Book 2 of The Second Chances Series, which takes place mostly in Maine, something of what we experienced that day.

 Act of Trust 200x300

                    AUTHOR’S PERSONAL NOTE

          If you’re of a certain age, 9/11 resonates with you in the way Pearl Harbor did with the Greatest Generation.

         We all know where we were when the planes hit the towers. Many lost loved ones or acquaintances, and we all have our stories.

          My younger daughter and her husband moved to New York City on Sunday 9/9. On Tuesday morning, September 11, as the principal in an elementary school, I’d arrived at my regular time, around 7:15 to get a jump-start on the day. My husband normally left later for his downtown high-rise to miss the traffic. He never went in that day after receiving a call from a good friend telling him to turn on the TV.

          It was three that afternoon before I knew my daughter and her husband were okay. Trying to keep staff, kids, and parents calm in the face of what we didn’t know took my focus. Parents flocked to the school to take their children home. Making sure students went with the right person took the full attention of my staff and me.

          I was one of the very lucky ones. My family was okay.

          So, ACT OF TRUST is a personal story to me. I admire those who’ve gone on after losing a loved one in this tragic experience. I can’t imagine it, though, as a writer, that’s my job. My intent was to honor their loss and commend their courage. I hope people find comfort in the happily ever after ending of this story.

          I will send a portion of the sale of each book to the 9/11 Memorial Gardens and Museum. If you care to donate directly, as well, here’s the link: http://www.911memorial.org/


          If you haven’t yet read this book, here are the links for it on all the channels.

Amazon http://amzn.to/1Qn9v7J

Amazon print http://amzn.to/1KrBwEK

B & N http://bit.ly/1PO4pgb

KOBO   http://bit.ly/1SxFweL

Apple iTunes http://apple.co/1QoeJjA

          Where were you on 9/11/01? Have you visited New York City since then? What about the 9/11 Memorial? We’ve visited the gardens, but the museum itself didn’t open for another month.  Love to hear from you, and remember to hug your family.

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Contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com , and follow me on my social media sites. https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/ for my Blog


https://www.twitter.com/Marsharwest  @Marsharwest


11 responses to “9/11 Where were you?

  1. Hi, Marsha – 9/11 happened right after I had taken my son to start college in Chicago. I remember calling him as I was watching the news coverage from New York, telling him to stay away from the Sears Tower and the Hancock building, that I loved him and that we needed to stay in touch hourly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always dread when Sept 11 rolls around. So many bad memories for people and always that fear a terrorist will try another attack on that date. I was subbing for our church secretary that week. My daughter called me at the church for some reason (it was her wedding anniversary). She had the TV on and while we were talking and saw the plane run into the tower, but it had just happened and the media thought a pilot error. So I never thought about it again. We had no TV or radio in the church office. Later she called to tell me another plane flew into the tower. I didn’t really realize what happened until I got home that afternoon and turned on the TV. Shocking images and such horror for New Yorkers. You must’ve been crazy with worry to have your daughter and her hubby right there. Glad she was able to contact you. We haven’t been back to New York. At the time, I wanted to go and experience the scene as it really was. But, that would’ve been crazy to try and get into the city. Now I’m sure the gardens are beautiful, but I have no desire to go to the museum. Too sad. Good for you to use your book for a good cause.
    JQ Rose

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, JQ,How horrible to see it as it happened. I did not. The re-runs were bad enough. I just think we have to keep remembering. Not to wallow, but to celebrate the courage of Americans. All Americans came together during that time. We especially need to remember that at this time. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I lived in the Washington D.C. area at the time and heard about the first tower while driving home. I pulled into the driveway to unload my kids and some groceries and heard an explosion. I thought it was a power transformer that blew. It was the Pentagon. I lived 15 miles away and heard the plane hit. I will never forget that sound.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Lisa. Oh my goodness. I got chill bumps reading your response. I always find it interesting how many people from all over were affected by the tragedy of 9/11. We need to hear the stories so we never forget. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.


  4. In July 2011 I visited the States and New York for the first time. My daughter (a teenager at the time) and I went up one of the Towers. I remember it being a great day, and I remember how much I was trembling when we stepped out at the top. (I don’t like heights.) Just two months later my daughter phoned me at work to tell me what was happening. She was worried about the man who operated the elevator. He’d been such a great guy – really funny and friendly. I remember worrying that I was at work and my children were at home watching these terrible scenes unfold on television. Whenever 9/11 comes round, I remember that elevator ride, and the guy who’d made me and my daughter laugh. I remember my fear of heights, and I think of the terror of the people inside on that day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Helena. My goodness, what a story. I’m sure experiencing the tower the way you did, made everything so much more real and horrible. I’m not fond of heights either, and I try to avoid tall buildings. How sweet that y’all made that connection to the elevator man. Thanks for sharing your meaningful story. 🙂


  5. I was at home when the towers were hit. My son was working in another city in an office that did not have a TV. Someone called in and told everyone what was going on, so he called me. I had just turned on the TV, and I told him it appeared that a small plane had accidentally flown into the building. As I was watching, the tower quickly collapsed. I will never forget what it looked like–only taking seconds. My son frequently travelled to NYC, and he told me later that he had been having breakfast in a restaurant of the hotel at the site (or adjacent to, not sure this many years later) and would have been killed if it had been one day later. I think it affected him more than most because of his close encounter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey. Linda. Wow! Just wow! You know those near miss events always leave people wondering why they escaped. I hope your son has come to terms with that and hasn’t had any long term negative affects. Thank you so much for sharing your story.


  6. Pingback: SHOW LOVE | Marsha R. West·

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