Today is September 11th and a date that America will always remember. The following is a repeat and how Fay and I remembered that day and how grateful we were and are to be Americans.
A DATE WE MUST NEVER FORGET
There’s no question that 9/11/2001 will forever be etched in our minds. Much like the Kennedy assassination we know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news.
Fay and I were in France, and did not learn of the attack until the next day. I know, hard to believe, but true. We got up early that morning (remember…..six hours difference in time) in Casis, a seaside town in Provence, and headed to St. Remy, where we were looking forward to the Wednesday market on 9/12.
We decided to stop for lunch around noon in Orgon, a small town about ten miles east of St. Remy. After all that is what one does in France at that time of day. Everything pretty much comes to a stop from noon to 2pm. Lunch is serious business, and something to thoroughly enjoy. We did as we usually do and stopped at the first restaurant we came to, and had a fantastic meal for next to nothing (before the Euro and when the dollar was good). We think now that we were just about midway through our lunch when the attacks were taking place.
After leaving Orgon we headed to St. Remy, and checked in at our hotel, the “Les Antiques“. The man at the desk was polite but said nothing about what had or was happening in the States. We dumped our bags, and headed to the Chateau le Baux ruins just outside town. This ancient site was perched atop a very steep hilltop where we could literally see for miles and miles. I remember the breathtaking view to this day, and how I just kept staring.
We were amazed that we were the only ones exploring the area, and of course later understood why…. We spent a couple of hours roaming the site, and returned to St. Remy. Since we had a big lunch we decided to save some money and picnic outside our room on the patio. We purchased some cheese, sausage, bread and of course a bottle of the local wine, and had a very relaxing meal. We were tired from all the exploring, showered and went to bed early….
The next morning, as we were getting ready to go to the market, I happened to turn on the TV, and saw videos of airplanes flying into buildings. I had no idea what this was about, and remember saying to Fay, “come here and look at this. Is this for real?“…. We were stunned, and I might also add, scared. Scared because we were halfway across the world, and our family was back in the United States.
We were scheduled to fly home 8 days later, but because of the grounding of aircraft we had no idea if our flight would be there for us. We had no choice but to continue on with our trip, but this horrific event was ever present in our minds. The French were fantastic, offering us lodging, hugs, and tears. Michel Tocque, my treasure hunting friend in Brittany, called us that morning and offered his home for as long as we needed. I cannot tell you how grateful we were.
The next few days were difficult in that local newspapers were non-existent and the places we were staying did not have TV’s. Most of what we knew we learned from other travelers along the way. We continued on to Ile le Sorgue, Roussillon, Orange, Vaison la Romaine and back to Paris. Amazingly our flight was not cancelled or delayed and we were even treated to first class for our return trip, thanks to American Airlines.
On touchdown at Dallas/Fort Worth airport every passenger applauded, and it was a feeling I will never forget. The customs agents were extra kind in their duties, adding an extra warm “Welcome Home“…..
It took us a day or two to fully grasp what had happened, watching continuous TV coverage, seeing video and photos not seen prior. What a horrendous tragedy it was. We would never be the same. I will also remember how everyone came together, and American flags were flying everywhere. We were Americans first and ready to stand together against whomever was responsible for this attack.
WE MUST NEVER FORGET 9/11 AND ALL OF OUR FALLEN HEROES
14 responses to “Remembering 9/11…”
we got the coward hiding behind women skirts. believe they pitched him into the “big lake! (ocean) also, just recently blew up the second in command, zawhari! they can run,but they cannot hide! a lot of very brave first responders lost their lives. god bless them all! for those that believe in god shall not perish, but have everlasting life!
I too, will never forget that day, Dick.
I was working in midtown Manhattan, on 42nd St., directly across from Grand Central Station.
We started work at 7am, and at about 8:30 I had to use the bathroom. I got back to my desk around 9, and a co-worker had the radio on, which said a plane hit the World Trade Center. Thinking it was a small Cessna or something, we didn’t pay it much mind. But as the situation continued to unfold, we were in total disbelief.
I will ALWAYS remember the radio d.j.’s words to this day after both structures fell; “Ladies and gentleman, the World Trade Center has fully collapsed. Both buildings are gone. The Twin Towers are no more.”
It was chaos. Calls couldn’t go through. People were crying in the hallways, etc. The boss told us to go home at about 10:30, and I vividly remember walking out onto 42nd St. to a SEA of people everywhere! Sidewalks & streets were mobbed because all mass-transit was halted. And people had no way to get around (or home) other than hotfooting it.
I walked one block to the New York Public Library on 5th avenue, which offered a clear shot to where the towers should’ve been, and all I saw was black smoke. By this time, the smell made it up by me, and it was horrible. The worst stench you could imagine.
The next days & weeks weren’t much easier, because MISSING person posters were plastered across the city by family members whose loved one’s never escaped the buildings.
My mother’s best friend & former co-worker of many decades – Monica Lyons – perished that day, as she was employed by Marsh, which was located on the 96th floor if I remember correctly. My mother lost many old friends & co-workers on 9/11, but Monica was like her sister.
Like you though, Dick…the kindness I witnessed for maybe the next week or two after the events happened was stunning. People were talking to each other in the elevators. Everyone seemed to offer a friendly smile. Strangers were making conversations about the situation, etc. And these were hardened, grizzled New Yorkers!
RIP all the souls lost on that horrible day.
Joe thank you for sharing your story. I can’t imagine being in the city that day. Had to have been hell…
It’s hard for me too to realize there are a lot of young people who weren’t alive on 9/11. I tend to think “everyone” remembers it. The Kennedy assassination too. I’m just one old dude.
I also knew posting this again wouldn’t go over with the majority of my readers but it’s okay. I understand and don’t care because it’s that important.
Yours is a graphic ground-level insight, one that outsiders like me where totally unaware. Here in the UK we had news bulletins but nothing describing the horrors you experienced.
May all those lost souls Rest in Peace.
9/11/2001… It was a Tuesday, from what I remember. both my wife and I have family in/around NYC. I was sick, but I still had to drive my wife to work. After dropping her off at work, I was listening to some NYC radio station’s news, and someone on there started talking about a plane had hit one of the WTC towers, they were scared. I was anxious too as my younger sister works in Manhattan. By the time I had got home, I had called my wife, she said that one of her coworkers had a TV on and they were watching national news in horror. My wife told me to call my sister which I tried, but no calls would go through. Later that day after trying to call everyone of my family, my wife said her work was letting them go home early. We were both in shock still. Both our jobs closed the rest of the week. And for two days we watched the news. It took two days till I finally got in touch with my sister. She said the smoke & dust was terrible, she was ok and her work was in mid-town. The phones were down all over the city and because the subway was down it took half a day to get from her job back to her apartment in Queens. We eventually learned one of our cousins was in the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, it had been headed towards the chaos, until various passengers took action against the hijackers. I can’t even imagine… Another cousin’s fiancé worked as an EMT and his truck & colleagues had been dispatched to the area near the 2nd tower…
Even now writing this I feel the sadness inside that will always be there for the thousands of innocents who died.
My family will never forget.
“Even now writing this I feel the sadness inside that will always be there for the thousands of innocents who died….”
Indeed Luke and they got up that morning thinking it would be just another day.
Thank you for sharing Dick. As I was watching it unfold on TV I vividly remember having the same thought as yourself, “Is this real?” My next thought was, “Is my family safe?” The kids were in school and Chris was working on a high rise in downtown West Palm Beach.
I also remember how we as Americans came together. We cried together for the loss of our people. We hugged strangers. And we stood proud for the heroes among us. During one of our darkest hours we were one.
“During one of our darkest hours we were one…”
How sad it took a tragedy of this magnitude to make that happen….
So true. And even sadder that today we as a nation are the extreme opposite.
one of your books is being given away for any purchase made on a treasure hunting web site! thought you should know! it’s a 17.95 value for “no!”
JT nothing I can do about that. It seems Whites dumped whatever books they had left and the buyer(s) can do what they want. I wish they had given me a chance to bid on a few but they didn’t.
yeah! this site must have scored a bunch for “short money!” your books are really comprehensive, and well worth a read. ..just sayin’
j (getting pricked soon!) t.
JT they’re all in need of an update at this point but it’s not going to happen.
understandable dick! that’s cool! there is plenty of good content in your books just the way they were written! tons of good advise. regardless of modern advances, many things in regards to hunting in general, have not changed!