I left for work…turned on the radio … heard the news of the first plane hitting the tower…My mind raced, "Where is everyone in our family?!" Oh, God! Jim is in Manhattan! My brother-in-law, based in London, was in New York this week. I returned home… screamed to my husband… checked the email. No messages…I called my sister in London...no answer. Called my dad.."Haven't heard from her, Cathy, but mark my words. This is the beginning of war." Dad had served in WWII, after Pearl Harbor…In London my young nephew had been watching cartoons… "Mom, the cartoons went away… a plane crashed in New York…" She watched in horror. No answer on her husband's cell phone…She called the school where her two other sons were…"we will keep the students safe… come now." She did. The school staff had formed a protective human shield in front of the school. She ushered her two older sons into the car…warily raced home…wondering if Americans world-wide were targets. As she dashed up the steps at home, her cell phone rang…Soon an e-mail arrived at my home: "Jim is safe…he was walking down the street with a co-worker, debris started falling from the sky…people panicking..a police officer… banging on a locked post office door…the door opened. Jim is safe inside." He stayed there…called her again…when he witnessed the second plane hitting the second tower. ..
…Jim and his co-worker returned to his hotel….. they watched the coverage on television… when the power went out, he packed a few belongings into a garbage bag…walked through the chaos…to the edge of the destroyed area…found a cab to another hotel…where he stayed until Sunday when flights to London resumed…
For one hour…we lived in anguished horror that we had lost a beloved family member.
For ten years now, we hold close all the families who did.