On the road during 9/11

Date Submitted: 08/26/2011
Author Info: Joel (Westfield, MA - USA) 
Occupation: Engineering
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

As an engineering project manager I traveled a great deal during those days. Living in Texas I was working in Macon, GA that day. Talking with a co worker another employee walked in stating there was an internet new flash that the WTC had been struck by a plane. I didn’t think much of it at first not knowing any more details until we heard another plane struck the other tower. We went to the employee smoking breakroom where a bad TV was showing snowy images from the news. The smell was bothering me so I thought if I go down the road I can drop into any hotel lobby and see a better image with no cigarette smell. I found a super 8 and sat in the lobby. No one was there, even behind the desk. I watched alone as Bryant Gumble (then on CBS morning show) started screaming the pentagon was on fire. Images of the pentagon began appearing as they replayed the 2nd WTC being hit. Eventually I returned to the factory to continue working but stayed up with the unfolding story on the internet. I told a co worker, “we’re going to war” and he agreed. Two days later planes were still grounded so I had to take my rental car and drive back to Waco, TX. I found another employee heading that way to share the ride home with. We both were amazed as we drove home how clear the skies were. No jet trails could be seen anywhere. When I got back to Waco, a German engineer that was working with me needed to go back to Macon, GA. I forget why, but he could not rent a car. I think the airport office for the car rental place was still closed. So I gave him the keys to the rental I had from GA and he drove it back.

My wife hated being alone with our children waiting for me to come home. Our kids were 5, 7, and 9 at the time.

My next flight out of town when planes were flying again was odd as National Guard troops were placed in each airprot with rifles.


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