Just got home...

Posted by: Dan

Just got home... - 09/14/01 04:51 PM

A co-worked and I flew into Boston Logan Airport on Sunday the 9th for a conference, and were in the Boston area during this horrible attack. Synopsys CEO Aart de Geus (the conference sponsor)was handed a note during his keynote address Tuesday morning, shortly after the 2nd tower was hit. His announcement of what had happened was greeted by stunned silence and disbelief. I got to my room just after the first tower had fallen and watched TV in anguish as the 2nd collapsed. Tuesday was a day of personal anguish as I knew that the sister of a dear friend worked for Morgan Stanley in the WTC. I finally reached her on Wednesday morning, and learned not only that her sister was safe (she had been in St Louis at the time of the attack), but that her sister had also learned that many and possibly ALL of her friends and co-workers were also safe.

We learned later in the day on Tuesday that 2 of the aircraft were hijacked from Logan and it became pretty clear that our Thursday flight from Logan to Denver was not going to happen anytime soon. So we drove. And I spent a good bit of the journey thinking about the possible significance of those 2 days to me and my family.

The license plates of the cars we passed and the people we talked to told a story of what must be thousands of travelers who were doing the same thing we were. In Upstate New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio there were plates from Illinois and Wisconsin heading east. We met a group of people that had gotten together, chartered a bus, and were trying to get back to Ottawa. In Indiana or Illinois we started seeing plates from Colorado. This morning in Nebraska we began seeing California plates heading east. During the whole trip, we were constantly overtaking or being passed by plates from New Hampshire, New York, Mass., Virginia, and North Carolina.

Everywhere we stopped, people were friendly and helpful. It was amazing how people would simply walk up and start talking to perfect strangers. We received and gave many, many wishes for safe journeys. In the entire trip from Boston to Denver, we did not see a single auto accident of any kind. And we only saw three planes in the air. Two commercial flights in Council Bluffs late Thursday evening, and one private jet around noon today landing at Jeffco Airport (north of Denver).

Our country will never be the same. After the interactions I've had over the past days and the personal introspection I've done while coming home it is my belief that ultimately America and the world will be BETTER than we were. There is work to be done to respond to this attack and I support that effort 1000%. We all must work to better ourselves in order to insure that those necessary actions in fighting terrorism do not result in our becoming the terrorists. I know I can become a better person than I have been, and I'm committed to doing so.

I sincerely hope that all in this community and their loved ones are safe and at home. I haven't read through any of the treads in this forum yet but I hope when I do that I will find all are well.

My warmest regards to you all. If there is any aid or comfort I can offer you from my home in the Denver area you have only to ask.

Dan
Posted by: Bernard

Re: Just got home... - 09/14/01 05:10 PM

Dan,

Your friend's sister and friends are all so very fortunate. I am happy for them, they can count their blessings.

I'll tell you this city has become a big memorial service. Going home last night after work, I passed countless fliers attached to lamp posts and pasted to walls. Seeing the faces of all these people who are missing is really a somber experience and affects us all very deeply.

I still can't believe it happened. I was just now looking at a copy of Wednesday's newspaper that a co-worker has on her desk and the pictures of the towers with the flames, gaping holes and smoke coming out of them look so unreal. Like a nightmare come true.
Posted by: AndrewG

Re: Just got home... - 09/14/01 08:27 PM

Welcome home, Dan!

The past few days have extremely difficult for me. I did not play the piano, did not even play any of my CDs.

Rgds,
AndrewG
Posted by: Dan

Re: Just got home... - 09/15/01 12:28 AM

Thanks Andrew. Yes, these have been difficult days for me as well. I would encourage you to sit down at the piano and play however.

As you know, my wife and daughter are in Phoenix, so even getting home to Denver didn't allow me to be with them. I have a vacation scheduled beginning at the end of next week, so I'll either fly down or drive if United doesn't have its planes all flying by then.

My wife and daughter are very upset and having a hard time coping. Our family was already under a good deal of stress due to our separation while Sue's in school down there. This has kind of pushed everyone right up to our limits. After much discussion, we decided that Margaret should be told what happened. There is simply not anyway to shield a school age child from hearing about it, and getting the information from us would at least insure she was getting the facts as best we know them. After hearing what happened and watching the news coverage (once) Margaret said

"There's no way I'm getting on a plane! I would need to talk to the pilot to make sure he knows how to drive the plane."

I am haunted by the image of those jets simply disappearing into the side of each of the WTC towers. Watching the second tower crumble live on CNN was a gut wrenching experience as well. Letting myself become consumed by dwelling on this tragedy is not healthy however. I need to pickup some of my "normal" activities because I see these activities as a source of strength. And I know I will need that strength for what is to come. So please, for your own sake and for your family's, sit down and start playing. I think you'll find they need that as much as you do.

Your friend,
Dan
Posted by: janine

Re: Just got home... - 09/15/01 09:08 PM

Dan - Glad you made it back safely. You're not alone in your reactions, as you can see by all the postings. I was on my way to work when I heard the first tentative report. By the time I got to work, it was clear that terrorists were behind the actions. While we were all listening to the radio reports (no TV's on our floor), I think most of us still couldn't really believe the enormity of the attacks. They sent us home at noon, due to fears that the tall buildings in downtown Denver might be a target. Only then did I see with my own eyes what had happened. The whole week has been a nightmare of trying to work, then coming home to sit in front of the TV's horrifying images. I'm still in shock.

I've been praying a lot this week. Praying for our leadership to have wisdom and restraint. Praying for understanding. Praying for the victims and their families. Praying for healing.

I fervently hope that a resolution can be found that does not invoke full-scale WWIII. I have draft-age nephews, and would hate for them to have to go to war. I would hate for any more American young people to die, since so many already died on Tuesday.

Anyway, I've been thinking about you and Andrew, hoping that you're both OK. I agree with you, that music can be a wonderful release. After Columbine, the choir I'm in gave a special performance of the Faure Requiem - and it helped me. I hope we do something similar this fall to remember the victims of this attack.

God be with you.
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Just got home... - 09/16/01 08:35 AM

Dan -

Welcome back home. I am glad that all is well for you. It has been a helluva week, hasn't it?
Posted by: jodi

Re: Just got home... - 09/16/01 02:26 PM

I'm glad you got home safely, Dan. I have been so sad all week, feeling in a sort of state of limbo. We have a little farmers market in town each Saturday, with music and food, and wonderful people. This weeks entertainment was the Pullman community concert band. They ended their program with the Stars and Stripes march - everyone stood and clapped along with the music. It made me feel pride. Then this morning, I read a quote from the paper in an article about Afghans stocking up on food, and leaving their capitol city in fear of a revenge attack from the U.S.: "There is no pleasure in life anyway, so I don't care if the bombs come and I have to die along with my children," said Leilmala, a 38-year-old mother of six in Kabul. "But the United States should know that the Afghan people are not their enemies." This made me cry.
Jodi
Posted by: Dan

Re: Just got home... - 09/16/01 06:53 PM

Thanks all for the good wishes. As Rich said it has indeed been a helluva week.

In talking with my wife, daughter, friends and family it is becoming increasingly clear that that we all need to find a source of strength to get us through the aftermath of this tragedy and sustain us through the upcoming war.

For myself as well as many of my family and friends, that strength comes from participating in anything that can be described as a normal activity. Grocery shopping, making music, taking care of the dog, and yard work have helped me greatly this weekend.

There is also great strength to be found in helping others, no matter how trivial the assistance may seem. Every ounce of energy given to help others comes back multiplied many times to the giver.

Many among my family and friends have also found strength through prayer and their faith.

Remember to love your family and talk to them. Remember the Twin Towers and the incredible bravery of people on the ground and in the air. And remember to continue living your life. America and the world needs you around for the long haul.

Dan
Posted by: PianoMuse

Re: Just got home... - 09/16/01 08:33 PM

Bernard..it's incredible around the city, isn't it? i live just outside the city in NJ...Friday night, on our main street, thousands of people lined up and lit candles, with children holding signs " God Bless America" and teenagers waving american flags. It was the most amazing sight i had ever seen..in a an area so diverse and divided we all became one and where there for eachother. Every church was packed sunday morning, lines going out the doors. It was really an amazing sight to see. It is sad that it takes such a horrible tradgedy to unite us all.