Where were you?

I know I'll never forget - just a few weeks after standing on the roof of the South Tower in August,  I was standing in the middle of the sports department on September 11th watching the towers burn AND FALL before my very eyes on a movie-screen-sized TV... I'll never forget the kindness of a stranger who walked up to me as I sobbed between the racks at the store - he held my shoulders, kissed my forehead and said, "if it hurts, don't look"... but all I could keep saying was "Those people... my God... all those people..."

11 AM AUGUST 2001

From that night on, I wouldn't sleep in my bed - I slept on my couch in my apartment - for probably over a year because I wanted to be near the front door in case I needed to get out. Over the past nine years, I've visited the City and taken photos before and after the attacks of 911. To this day, they still get to me. I just can't imagine, no matter how many books I read, images I see, or videos I watch what it must have been like to be there that day, for the victims, the heroes, the families... I usually bring out my scrapbooks and storage bins of memorabilia at this time, to remember what happened, and I'd like to share some of the photos and experiences with you...

Sitting on the steps of the Federal Building, down at Wall Street... minutes before leaving to go to the Twins...

Photos from ferry leaving to go to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty...

Below are photos from the observation deck inside the South Tower
and then panoramic photos from the South Tower roof...

South Tower roof - August 2001

yes... that was a small plane flying by while we were on the roof...

Like many, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing on the TV and in the papers. The feeling was so overwhelming, I flew up to see for myself in December of 2001... I'm sure it had something to do with cooler temperature, but the ground STILL had steam coming up from it... I went down to South Street Seaport and got a ticket to go to the viewing platform the had built across the street... As I walked around lower Manhattan, these are some images of what I saw...

This ad in particular REALLY got to me... It's a reminder to tell those who matter most just how much they mean to you... because you never know when they will be gone...

from the viewing platform...

On September 10, 2002... I boarded a plane and made my way back again to NYC  to be in the City for the one year anniversary memorial... On the tenth, I took the NY Waterway around lower Manhattan to see the new skyline... But it just wasn't the same...


One the eleventh, I stood on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral and wept with the New Yorkers as we all stood for a moment of silence to honor the timing of the first plane hitting... and when the towers fell... Afterwards, I went to at least six memorials including a Tribute from LIFE at Rockefeller Center featuring nine foot enlarged full-body portraits called FACES OF GROUND ZERO, children's drawings at the Museum of the City of New York called The Day Our World Changed, artifacts from the WTC & silent the film 120 minutes at the New York Historical Society to name a few. Most all stores were closed until noon and had heartfelt tributes as window displays all along fifth avenue...

even the cellphone store Cingular paid tribute
with these flags of phone covers...

At the end of the day, I went to a Candle light Vigil being held in Central Park. I couldn't find it, nor could this other person, who ended up being a reporter from Tampa, Florida. We walked through the park together and met up with some other reporters, who were from Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood Florida. We all walked together, through a crowd of joggers & walkers... One of which who was standing next to me made mention of Aventura, Florida (at the time, I was working there). We walked and talked for a bit; then we all managed to find the vigil and tribute concert - It was at the Great Lawn. Because I was with "press", I was able to by-pass the line and walk in with them. I said thank you and we said out good bye's - then we all went our separate ways. The night was unforgettable - listening to Billy Joel sing "New York State Of Mind"...

I didn't feel right going to GZ on September 11th. I thought that should be for the families. So on the twelfth, I headed to lower Manhattan to go to Ground Zero (GZ) and a gallery called HERE IS NEW YORK. Anyone who had taken photos of the day could contribute, and all photos where hung and clipped to wire throughout a vacant Soho space. Each photo could also be purchased for $25, with proceeds going towards the 911 families. I didn't purchase any images, but sometime afterwards, I found the entire collection of photos I had seen in the gallery - published as a book...


This is one of several books and video 
I've collected through the years...

 I've been back to NYC several times since then 2002 - Jeff and I were married in Central Park in 2007 - The beloved skyline is terribly missed - It's just not the same...

The day of September 11th, Gail, my mom's friend whom I had spent the day with in New York City and went to the Twins with in August, was visiting my mom down here in South Florida... When I called my mom, she said Gail couldn't stop sobbing and saying - "I was just there with your daughter..."


I know I'll never forget...

Where were you?

God bless the victims, the families, the heroes, and the workers who all helped work through the rubble... and even those still there today helping the City and the US rise up once again... In case you missed yesterday's post, you can also read:


  1. i was the tour guide for garden visiting in england. we walked into a gift shop. very hushed and then we heard people saying "OMG, those are americans...hmmmm....unususal the brits are our friends. but then we saw the tv they were watching. shocking! we were viewing it long after it happened. have never experienced such compassion as an american traveler

  2. Great pictures; thanks for sharing.

    Shirley - Scotland

  3. Beautiful heart wrenching photos. Thanks for sharing. My cousin was just a tad late for work that day (she's never late) and their train halted as the first tower went down. I was in the Philippines and we couldn't get a hold of her. So many of her colleagues perished. Thank God she is here today.

  4. What beautiful photos, Lynda.
    I was in the city on 9/11 as well but it was months before I could go back and visit Ground Zero. I still miss my friends terribly, but I am so grateful that I did not lose any family members. I am fortunate to have heard many stories of survival.
    I too will never forget.
    Blessings to you,

  5. I was in my dorm room in South Carolina at a private Christian University and was sleeping and my friend Joe Reeder slammed on the door and yelled for me to get to the lobby and see what was going on with NYC and the planes crashing into the buildings. Couldn't believe it, made a trip up there a couple years later to see the site, unreal!

  6. Looking at those photos makes me want the towers back in NY. I was watching the 9/11 ceremony and they showed shots of the freedom tower. I just can't believe they want to replace the towers with that joke of a building they call "1 World Trade Center" which is insulting. What they're building now will NEVER be the World Trade Center no matter how much PR the Port Authority can provide. This is what should be built http://www.twintowersii.com/

  7. Nelson: I couldn't agree anymore. I think it is ab-so-frickin-ridiculous that it is taking over NINE years to build - and what is built, looks like space mountain - NOT NYC. The Twins puncuated the City skyline with a strong elegant grace that is so missed. The City still looks unrecognizable - but it doesn't mean I love it or the people any less... in fact, I love the City more...

    To those of you who took the time to share your experience and write a comment... I greatly appreciate it...

    God bless you all, today and everyday...

  8. Wonderful photos and heartfelt memories of days spent in NYC. I agree that the skyline doesn't look the same without the towers. It would make you stir with anticipation when approaching the city from the NJ Turnpike. Now I just feel sad.

    Thank you again for keeping the prayers alive for those who have been affected by the horrific events of 9/11

  9. We were living in Germany at the time, but Tom was on a business trip to the States so I was in Germany alone. It was almost 4 in the afternoon and I called my dad to say "hello". I asked what he was doing and he said he was watching tragedy. I thought it was a movie or something and asked what it was about. He said, "Honey, don't you know what is happening? Can you get an news channels in English?" I immediately turned it on CNN International and watched as my dad started to tell me what was going on. As we talked, we watched the first tower fall. I was in shock. I told Daddy that Tom was flying that day from Detroit to Alabama. He told me to get of the phone, call Tom immediately and tell him to NOT get on a plane. When he said that I started to panic. I tried over and over to call Tom, but all the lines were busy. My phone started to die and people were calling to check on me. I finally got through to him and he was o.k. His flight had been cancelled.

    For four or five solid days I could not tear myself away from the t.v. I would eat, sleep and watch t.v. Then the nightmares started. I had horrible horrible dreams of the things I had seen and the people that had been on t.v. My dad told me to turn it off and get out of the house. I remember driving to a small park in a village close to our house. In the park was a small grotto area with a beautiful cross sculpture. I got on my knees and prayed. I prayed for all those who lost their lives and for those who had lost so many loved ones.

    I had a huge fear that war would be called immediately and Tom would not be able to get back to get me. I was alone in a foreign country and just afraid. He made it home about a week later. It was different for us because in America, everyone rallied together as one nation. We were told to keep low. In America, flags waved proudly. We were told to put ours away and not be too obvious. It was a very strange time in our lives.

    Today, 9 years later, I am home in the States and Tom is in Germany. It is a bit strange feeling, but we spoke this morning and prayed together like we do every year on the 11th. A special prayer for everyone involved in that tragic time who lost their lives and those who still grieve for those they have lost.

  10. Lynda, thank you for sharing your memories...the good times and the sad times.

    I still can't bear to watch the towers being hit.

    God bless all who lost loved ones and for those who lost their lives, God rest their souls.....and God Bless America!




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