Where Were You? RMH Reflects on 9/11
It's hard to believe it's been ten years. I remember my parents saying they'll never forget where they were when President Kennedy was shot. And now, I can someday tell my children that I'll never forget where I was during the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
My friend emailed me a week ago. She teaches high school English at an area school. She said, "Sarah, can you believe that this year's freshman class doesn't remember 9/11" - Seems so crazy - seems like it was just yesterday.
On September 11, 2001, I was a senior at Bridgewater College. My first "class" that morning wasn't a class at all. I was doing a work/study with my communications professor - earning a meager wage for being her errand girl. I loved it.
As I was getting dressed, I had Good Morning America on - and I remember anchor Charlie Gibson saying something about a plane and the World Trade Center. But the seriousness of it didn't really sink in.
By the time I got over to Bowman Hall, the second plane had hit. My work/study period became a gathering as teachers and students stared in horror at the television. I remember a student running down the hallway crying and looking frantic. Her mother worked in the Pentagon. (Thankfully, she wasn't hurt that day.)
Now that the 10th anniversary of that horrible day is almost here, we decided to ask a handful of RMH employees to tell us where they were, what they remember, and how they will honor that day.
Diane Ray, HR Employment Specialist - I was on the phone conducting an interview with a candidate. The candidate made me aware of what was happening. I will be honoring this event with a moment of silence.
Robin Martin, Manager of Chaplain Services - In an effort to catch up with desk work, I had worked all night before a scheduled day off on the Sept. 11, 2001 and I left RMH just as everyone else was arriving to work. I drove home to Fairfax, and sat in my car in the driveway, in a bit of a stupor, but enjoying the cool crisp air and crystal blue skies on that gorgeous Tuesday morning. I finally went into the house, full of gratitude for creation. A few minutes later my sister-in-law called saying "turn on the TV!!" and I spent the rest of the day trying unsuccessfully to reach my husband and wondering when & if he would make it home from where he worked in southeast DC. This year I will take time in prayer to connect again with God who holds my heart in peace.
Maria Hostetter, RN, Heart Health Navigator - I remember standing mid morning at the second floor window in the old hospital's cardiac cath lab room recovery area, looking to the sky watching a lone airplane jet fly across Harrisonburg. The thought struck me that all planes were supposed to be "grounded". I felt vulnerable, then pondered about who might be in that plane. It must have been an authorized flight. I thought about how quickly life changes. I will be honoring this day by volunteering at my church's outdoor "Summer's End Festival".
Labreeska Long, Medical Necessity/Physician Coordinator - I was at the cancer center working. I remember a flurry of activity and someone told us to come to the chemo treatment area. They had all the TV's on and pointed towards us so we could see. I remember us holding hands and praying and crying together as we watched the events unfold. It was a very emotional day. I still tear up thinking about it. My heart goes out to all the victims, the hero's, the ones left behind...The flag will be hanging from my front porch this weekend.
Kay Harrison, VP of Business Development - I was in San Diego on business (so it was 5:45 am) and remember feeling very disconnected from home. Carter (Melton, former RMH President and CEO) called to make sure we were OK and to discuss our travel plans. He told us he would support us getting home any way we had to. I remember feeling much more secure after his call and realizing again, why I love working for RMH so much.
Judi Getz, Rehab Services - When the first plane hit, I was standing near the television in the Wellness Pavilion getting ready to go to a joint staff meeting of Rehab Services. We were all together that day watching as the towers fell and getting word of the Pentagon and the crash in the field in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania. I am going to spend time on Sunday with my son, an Iraqi Freedom veteran.
Sandy Tusing, Foundation Executive Assistant - I was working in my office when another employee came by and told me what happened. As a mom, the first person who came to mind was my son, Matthew, who serves in the USMC. I knew at that very moment his job was about to change. On 9/11 I'll be remembering those who lost someone on that tragic and very sad day.
Neil Mowbray, Publications Specialist - I will remember that morning - indeed, that entire day - as long as I live. I was preparing to go into my classroom at JMU to teach, when our department director told us to come to her office and watch the news on the small TV she kept tuned in to CNN. We all stood in stunned silence as we watched the plane hit the second tower, and then saw the two towers come crashing down. I'll never forget the sight of people literally jumping to their deaths rather than be burned up in the melting towers. I made it to my class, and in broken speech told them to go home and watch this event."You'll remember this for as long as you live," I told them. Then I went home and stayed glued to my TV set for days.
Where were you on September 11? Post your comments below - we love to hear from you.
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