Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11...Ten Years Later

I can't believe it has been ten years since 9/11 changed our country forever.  I wasn't blogging back then (was there such a thing then) so I thought I would tell you the story of where I was when that day...Back then I was living in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (my hometown) and was attending UWEC working on my B.A.  I was also working as the lead interpreter at CVTC that day.  I was driving in to town to TA for a class I was taking with Katherine Schnieider (who by the way is an amazing woman and author too!) who happens to be blind.  This was a great experience for me since I am used to working with the Deaf and I learned alot about working with the blind from her.  Anyways, I think I was listening to a CD and when it ended I popped it out and caught what was going on on the radio.  I remember sitting in my car in the parking lot in absolute shock.  I think only the first plane had hit at that time.  We didn't even realize it wasn't just a random sad accident.  When it came time for class, responsible student that I am, I went to class.  Most everyone was abuzz about what was going on and there was a TV in the hall with it on but I didn't have time to see much before class.  Many teachers were just turning it on in the classroom or letting their classes go that day (both at the University and Tech) but our instructor went on with class.  I will say that I have NEVER been more distracted and felt the time go so slow as I did that morning.  When class was done I had to hurry over to work just a few minutes away and when I got there I saw immediately what all was going on.  CVTC had TV's in the hallway and I didn't even make it to my office.  I just stood there gawking along with lots of other people.  I can remember the moment I realized the second plane had hit and that we were under attack.  Such disbelief.  I think most of us thought we were untouchable, and in that moment everything changed.  Unfortunately none of the coverage was captioned and so I wound up interpreting it, while trying to process it, all day at work.  It was one of the hardest work days I have ever experienced.  I felt like most everyone could just stand and stare and try to deal with things, but I had to work interpreting despite what I was feeling.  Some of the students were really shocked and scared and the news was speculating on where would be next...the fear of the unknown really bites. 

A few days later a local radio station asked people to head to the fairgrounds dressed in red, white and blue for a photo to show that Wisconsin Cares.  I was a girl scout leader at the time, and so I and one of the other mothers took all our girl scouts including our own daughters, and my youngest son Mac (think CJ was at respite) to be in the photo.  We are on the left side of the U in the picture below close to the middle/top.  Alot more people turned up than they expected so that is the mass you see above the letters.  Really, we felt far removed from all of it and yet needed to do something.  It wasn't much, but as someone who doesn't always get involved in protesting or campaigning this was something I felt I had to do.  So we did.

 I think I saw others that I knew there that day, but I wonder who else was there that I didn't even realize at the time. 
Chippewa Valley Shows how much Wisconsin Cares
I hope nothing like 9/11 ever has to happen again.  So senseless that so many innocent people died, and so many others became ill and are still suffering and dying. 


Linda Lee said...

I was teaching full time in SL and taking classes at UWEC at night working on my masters in SPED. I called the dept. that afternoon to see if class was still going to be held. I drove to EC. The instructor, who was close to my age, talked about what this was going to mean to the lives of the Americans. I as the only non traditional student. Dr. B and I carried on a discussion with the students on how this would be remembered in their lives. Shortly afterwards class was dismissed. As I drove north---there were absolutely no other vehicles on the road.

Wacky Woman said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I was in bed and turned on the TV that is in my room. The Today show was on and it was showing the first building on fire. I was convinced it was just some freak accident until we watched the 2nd plane fly into the other World Trade building. With that I jumped out of bed. My mom and my cousin's daughter were living with me at the time. I knocked on both of their doors and told them to get up, that life as we now know it has just changed. I still cry when I think about this and all the lives lost.