16 thoughts on “Reader Friday – Remembering 9/11

  1. I wish it had impacted my writing, Terry. But the fact is, I’ve only been an author since 2016.

    However, the continuing saga of the state of the globe sure impacts my writing now. I find there’s a sense of urgency within. There may come a time, maybe sooner rather than later, when authors will have to learn new tricks to avoid becoming part of the collective.

    • I was barely writing in 2001, but I think as authors, we can incorporate our emotions into our books. While I’m not ready to include mask-wearing and hand sanitizing in my current books, if I have an airport scene, the changes brought about in security measures are definitely part of it.

  2. I’d say I find myself thinking/haunted by the folks left behind – in large part because this was such an unforeseen event – long term sicknesses, death/injury in war zones, on the job, and even car wrecks being so “commonplace(?)” (though no less painful).

    I have explored this kind of sudden, unexpected loss in both my current WIP and some songs – about 9/11 (though not as “saccharine” or “belligerent” as some that got radio-play) as well as a few others, from what I’ve seen and witnessed in the ER at my day-job – which is the last place folks expected to be let alone wanted to be when they stepped out the door that morning… and not just the regrets of what should’ve been said or done, but also the bittersweetness of what WAS said or done…

    • Unforeseen events, how we react to them and their aftermath. I can’t’ imagine what the ERs looked like then. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Hi Terry,

    Such a terrible day. I can still remember exactly where I was and what I felt. For my writing, 9/11 motivated me to become more serious at becoming an author, by valuing my writing time, but made me consciously aware of the importance of creating a deeper emotional experience in my writing. It took me a very long time, and I’m still working on it, but that was the kick, after experiencing that terrible day, from afar.

    • I think everyone remembers what they were doing when they heard. Channeling the emotions will come through in your writing, but I totally agree. It’s not easy.

  4. Yes. It made me a lot sadder.

    It was a strange thing: I did not personally know anyone who was lost in the Twin Towers, but I kept running into people who lost both close and distant cousins, friends, an uncle, and an ex-wife in the World Trade Center collapse. At the time, I was the director for recruiting and training for a small company.

    I have gone back on occasion and read some of the things I wrote in those days. There was not happiness, no joy in them. They make me feel as bad now as I did then.

    It took me, as it did the nation, to recover from those hours, then those days.

    • I’m not aware of anyone I knew losing their lives that day, but I’ve got relatives in New York, and they had friends, neighbors who worked in the buildings. They talked about waiting to get the news, whether their friends or loved ones had survived. That’s another emotion one can draw on.

      • MY mother in law had many friends in the New York area. In the weeks afterward she was getting funeral notices. Working with your family, your father, your brother, became multiple funerals. Clergy members were doing three and four funerals a day. It destroyed them.

  5. I was living with and taking care of my elderly mom then. She had the ABC morning show on then cut if off when “a small plane” flew into a skyscraper because she wanted the chit chat, not news. I spent the day on the phone to various pharmacies trying to track down someone who actually had her medication. In the late afternoon I found the prescription and heard the news on my car radio as I went to pick it up. I wept because I knew the world had changed in a disastrous way for my siblings’ kids.

    Ironically, I heard of JFK’s death the same way when my mom picked me up from elementary school. Dang car radios!

    I’ve always dealt with light and fluffy or adventure in my novels so it never really changed my writing beyond an airport scene meeting between groups of characters. That’s it.

    For anyone who isn’t avoiding the specials, I recommend THE VOICES OF 9.11. It’s about the people who lived and died, not the terrorists.

  6. I was working at home when my husband called to say “A plane just crashed into one of the Twin Towers, turn on the TV.” From his words, it sounded like an unfortunate accident, and I was busy, but I did go switch on the set and saw the reality of what had happened.
    I was in my high school history class when JFK was assassinated. Another day few people will forget.

  7. I returned to the Base Civil Engineering building from a construction site, at that point unaware of the morning’s events, and from outside the entrance could see the CO, Deputy, and a few others standing by the receptionist staring in the direction of a bulletin board mounted, on a wall outside my field of vision, above a set of shelves. I came inside, walked over to the silent group, and turned to see — on a television set placed on the top shelf — what (not until some few moments later) I learned was the second airliner flying for unknown-at-the-time reasons its final few hundred feet into the burning Towers.

    • That was the first thing I saw as well, Richard. On the tiny television set in my husband’s home office.

  8. I was at home on the Canadian west coast on 9/11, three hours behind NYC time. I had recently retired from the police department and was fairly new with the coroner service. I was up early dealing with a work matter and had the radio news on. The first message was “a small plane flew in the the World Trade Center” so I flicked on the TV to see the second plane hit. It was a shocking event, to say the least, and I was overwhelmed at what the emergency responders were dealing with. Also what the forensic investigation would involve. I woke my wife and kids telling them that America had been attacked and this would be a major event in their lives. My son was ten at the time and said, “The United States will go to war with whoever did this.” Little did I know that this would directly involve him years later as an army soldier contributing to the fight in Afghanistan.

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