September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:I was in my kitchen and had turned on the local CBS morning show to check the traffic before I left for the day. National CBS interrupted the local to show the live images of the buildings being attacked. I couldn't feel anything until the World Trade Center fell.

My husband and I had eaten in the restaurant at the top of the building, Windows on the World, and I couldn't believe that was gone. That's what made it real for me.

I had to do something. I had been an U.S. military officer, and I had to do something. I did all I could do which was to go to the local blood bank. It probably didn't benefit New York or D.C., but it was all I could do here in addition to praying.

I spent the day there. They were short handed, so I worked the desk. People constantly came to give blood and were willing to sit the hour or two.

I was concerned about a cousin I have in New York. Our families were never close, but I hoped she was okay. I received a copy of her email in which she described how she lived across the river from the WTC and had gone to her roof after the first hit. She was up there when a second plane came around the corner and smashed into the building. She said there were papers flying everywhere. I still worry about her and hope she's okay after having seen this.

Strangely, she did exactly what I did. She went to her local blood bank and worked the desk all day.

Memory:Sitting down at my kitchen table and crying when it all became real.

Another strong one is from the following day when I watched TV to see the Queen of England stand with others to sing our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

Affects:I think we all have a better understanding of what's important.

I have never been a real "people person," but I reach out a lot more than I ever did. I always loved my family, but I try to do more for them. I write more. My parents lived through the Great Depression, and my father was in WWII. I always thought they were hopelessly old fashioned and a little simplistic. Now I understand them, and I find I'm adopting a lot of their attitudes and values.

I've noticed many people seem to be living more and more this way. The ornate is becoming simple. People just don't seem to want a lot of big, expensive things as once they did. Also, I've always enjoyed making things, doing crafts and sewing. After September 11, it seems as if a lot of people have started doing that. I think it's wonderful because finally more people are creating.

I have such a greater appreciation for everything on this earth, and especially in this country.


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