I was on leave from work to have my first child here in the Florida Keys, My husband and his family all flew to Staten Island on Sept 10, in order to attend a family funeral on the 11th for their Aunt Santa,
I took my infant for a stroller ride to the local coffee shop, as usual. I walked into a silent room, strangers staring at TV’s. Dumbfounded, I asked what was going on. The waitress pointed up at the screen and said “we’re at war.” The first tower collapsed as I stood there. I skipped the coffee and ran home. I knew my family was at a funeral right across the water from the twin towers. By the time I got home the second tower was gone. I held my child close to me and made phone calls to my husbands family to see if they were ok. They were not injured. However, my father-in-law, Charles Fricke, is a retired Batallion Chief from New York City. He responded to the twin tower cites almost daily as they were being built in the 60’s. He immediately desired to suit up and get in there. He continued to state over and over “a lot of firefighters have been killed, I need to go be with them. The family begged him not to at his age. It was a relief they were all ok and together, They rented cars in get back home to the Keys. The sadness, shock, love of family, love of first responders, overpowered every emotion that day. I sat home alone for days, holding my baby close, glued to CNN, until my husband got back ok. We spent many nights at his families’ homes, discussing what happened, and dealing with the pain it caused them to see their home town under attack. We were all fortunate to return home in South Florida. I know some of them have much deeper scars. The anniversary is monumental in remembering and healing. Another part of overcoming the PTSD we have all suffered from.