September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001. An email from Jorja alerted me to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. I turned on TV and watched in horror, with a heating pad against my right side.


The doctor didn’t change his mind when I informed him that I wasn’t old enough for shingles. I endured the misery nevertheless.

My husband Guy was an air traffic controller at the Des Moines tower. He covered his shift, even though airports were closed across the nation. The control towers were manned, just in case.

That afternoon I stepped out on the front porch. Our suburban neighborhood was eerily still. Even freeway traffic was faint on that Tuesday, and there was no aircraft at all.

I noticed one large plane to the north headed east. Later I learned it was Air Force One, with the president on his way from U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base (STRATCOM) in Omaha, Nebraska, to Washington, DC, to address the nation.

It was such an uncertain time, nationally and personally.

Remembering the 3000 lives lost and their families still in mourning.



  1. I was driving to to work and listening to the radio, when they announced the first plane had hit. At first I thought it had to be a joke, a prank, or at worst, a small private plane the head attempted a crash landing and missed. When I got to work, I watched on my computer as the second plane hit. If I had been younger, I would’ve been at the recruiting station the next day. It is a day I will never forget, and a day I can never forgive.

  2. I was at work when the first plane hit, and we thought it was a horrific commercial airline accident. Then the second plane hit, and it seemed totally unreal. It became real when the news footage from the ground started coming in.

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