September 11 Digital Archive

lc_story70.xml

Title

lc_story70.xml

Source

born-digital

Media Type

story

Created by Author

yes

Described by Author

no

Date Entered

2003-12-14

LC Story: Story

I was at work as head cook in an elementary school kitchen, and one of the women came in for the 9:15 shift and told us that she might be confused, but she thought she heard that an airplane flew into the World Trade Center. At first we jokingly asked if they were making a remake of "King Kong". But there was an eerie pall in the kitchen, and although we have no access to television, somebody had a portable radio, and we started to listen.

Word spread from the main office to all staff to please keep a calm demeanor, and don't mention the news to the children, as everything was turmoil, and nobody knew what was really going on. We continued, however to listen to the radio during the morning, and everybody worked in silence.

LC Story: Memory

When I reached home, my husband was already there, and the television was on. When we heard later that day that the US carrier George Washington was going to NYC, the situation immediately became personal. Our son Teddy was a nuclear electrician on that aircraft carrier. We knew that Teddy was in NYC. At first, by the next morning,we saw newsclips of the "Dub", as the George Washington is called, in the mouth of the harbor. They flew air missions off the carrier for 19 days. They moved the ship out of the harbor to the entrance of the airstrips at JFK airport, 7 miles east of the harbor. During wartime, or political unrest, sailors can't call or e mail out to family. It may sound corny, but the New Yorkers down there were so scared, and rightfully so, that I took CNN up on its offer to send a short message to the people of NYC , and they would play the messages on their rotating messageboard. I sent something to the effect that "Our son is on the aircraft carrier in the harbor to help protect you."

LC Story: Affects

Well, these examples are certainly small potatoes compared to some, but as I said, I work in an elementary school in Upstate New York, near Lake Ontario. The dairy that supplies our schools with milk sent all they had down to the kitchens that fed the rescue workers for a day. The children were proud to help in that way. We collected flannel shirts and socks for the workers to change into after their shifts searching for survivors. We had a list of school members, staff and children alike who were in the military at the present time, so people could think good thoughts for them(Prayer isn't allowed in school), and although we are one of the poorest districts in New York State, we took up a penny collection, and raised almost $700.00 for the Red Cross. The children's fear at the constant and horrific news was channeled into doing positive things to try to help the situation. Volunteering and Good Citizenship are qualities that will serve these children well all their lives.

We are a military family, and beside our son who was on the George Washington, one of our other sons was in the Navy, activating Naval Reservists, and my brother is a Navy SEAL. Our daughter had just finished 10 years in the Army. Although it hasn't lasted, the newfound feeling of national patriotism was a welcome sight for us. We, as their parents, are from the Viet Nam era, and remember the awful way our military vets were treated in that time.

As I write this, on the day that Saddam Hussein has been captured, I can only hope that the supportive feeling for our troops rises again. Since that time, we also have a son-in-law who is a commander of a Bradley Unit on the North/South Korean Border. Whether or not citizens agree with political decisions made in Washington, they need to remember that our soldiers and sailors are in harm's way following these orders.

Citation

“lc_story70.xml,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed September 16, 2019, http://911digitalarchive.org/items/show/363.