9000 Miles from Home
I was told about the attack by a colleague at the US Embassy. I was the CEO of the Government owned bank in Tanzania which was being restructured for privatization by the World Bank. That night , I was unable to find out what happened to my 2 daughters and son in law who worked very close to the WTC. Luckily my daughters meeting at the WTC had been canceled and all my family were able to evacuate downtown safely. I myself narrowly escaped the first bombing a few years earlier. I often think of those events and how religion can be abused for political ends.
Post by Tony Singleton '71
I worked at Verizon that day and took calls in our pay phone division when a call came through. The man said with desperation in his voice "you gotta help me I need to get a hold of my daughter." I said "I will will help you sir where are you?" He said "I just made it out of the first tower and I don't have any money." I asked him for his daughters phone number and told him to hang on. I got her on the phone and she was distraught. I told her to hang on I had good news for her and I connected her with her dad. A memory that I will never forget and yes I did break down in tears.
Post by Jim Reilly
Actually in Riyahd
I heard the news almost instantly. Several members of our staff had internet pictures of the two burning towers before they crashed down. All work stopped in the office of Network Plans at Saudi Telecom in downtown Riyadh. Several of the Saudi group leaders were discussing the bombings. They thought Isreal did it. Some said we deserved it because we sold arms to Isreal who in turn killed Palistinean women and children. Some thought the Bin Laden style of Islam should be in Saudi Arabia (clearly a seditious remark). Like me, other Americans were thunderstruck and horrified. We all went to our compounds and watched TV. I was really proud of the NYPD and NYFD who were running toward the burning towers while other were rushing out. It was a terrible moment in history. We all thought that we may have to leave quickly if Al Queda decided to "rush the palace" and dethrone the king.
The next day, company VPs visiting us left the country leaving us behind without instruction. I could only think that they were cowards. The Saudis did also. While we were many miles away, our hearts and prayers were for the survivors and the brave rescuers. Upon reflection, Bin Laden was brought to justice but it will never cancel the horror of that day.
Post by Lawrence Cataldo '64
My immediate thoughts upon hearing of the attacks were "oh no," we will be at war again, and angst for all those young people whose lives will be cut short. Then the impact hit of the horror that was occurring and I thought, this will change the United States forever. And so it has, the endless fighting, the economy, and the sense that the United States is indeed vulnerable.
I prayed, then, that God would help each person and family involved somehow cope. Today, I pray that God will help us not only to take time to remember all the lives that were lost or destroyed on 9/11/01, but give us the kindness and wisdom to help those still struggling from the aftermath. I also pray that the peoples of the world could magically set aside their differences and hatreds to find peaceful ways to truly reflect God's love for all. Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts.
Post by Linda Morris '85, MSN, RN
I was a Police Lieutenant and at Superior Court waiting for a hearing when I found out. I remember it being such a beautiful day and then all the beauty was drained away as I drove back to the station.
Over the next few days, I was flooded with emotion – never good for a cop. Sheer anger, profound sadness, immense pride, and the knowledge that everything had changed and would never be the same.
Though retired from police work now, I cried last night watching 10th anniversary TV shows about it and relived those days and emotions all over. God bless and comfort all of us and protect us from evil.
Posted by Jim Gaudet '83
This is more a commentary than a reflection. As an Anselmian having lived for decades overseas, often with christian and muslim arabs, when I see the tributes, memorials and debates on the unspeakably cruel deeds of 9/11 I can't help but notice that nobody ever asks: what is it that could make a whole region of the world hate us so much? While such barbarity is universally and unqualifiably inexcusable, one might ask: well what has our government been up to to make them all hate us so much…. A Louvain Palestinian professor states 2 elements, support for repressive regimes and the inability to launch an Israeli Palestinian peace dialogue.
Posted by John Cronin
On September 11, 2001, I was living in South Bend, IN having just begun my year of volunteer work at the Center for the Homeless. I lived in a house without a television and learned of the attacks when my mother called from New York. Miraculously, none of my many family members were lost – they were safe in New York. I felt helpless, I felt broken, I felt lost in the midst of the midwest without anyone who could understand the intense loss I felt for my state and my family. I did not know how to move forward when so many people's lives were lost and changed forever.
Through my experiences since 9/11/01, I have come to learn so much about what it means to see grace grow from tragedy. I find it easy to see the crucifixion in the loss of lives, but I also find the resurrection in the many ways acts of peace are cultivated to bring healing into the world. We see how violence brings destruction, but we also see how love brings new life. I pray we will always remember these events but not focus on a retaliation. Instead let us celebrate how strangers prayed together, how people were selfless, how love poured out of every heart, how compassion transformed the face of the nation. Let these virtues, ones that represent the face of Christ, be what we hold onto and what we strive for each and everyday. Let us serve all of humanity and prove the resiliency of the human spirit – this is how we can honor those who were taken from our lives. This is how we can show our Christianity, and thus transform the world.
Posted by Mary Anne Cappelleri '01
It is hard to believe that 10 years have gone by now. None of us could have imagined that cloudless September morning how many millions of lives would be changed forever that day.
In the aftermath of the attacks, I was called to active duty to serve as a Chaplain Assistant in the New Hampshire Army National Guard. The call up was the largest mobilization of the Guard and Reserves since the Second World War. I served both at home and abroad for a period of nearly two years.
I saw each day the toll of the war and the true cost of our Freedom. I stand in awe to this day of the countless acts of selfless service, and great personal sacrifice that I witnessed, both in our soldiers, and in their families at home. Not a day goes by that I do not count my blessings, kiss my kids, and remember to appreciate all the special things in our everyday lives.
Never forget – so many have given so much to make this world a better place for the ones we love.
Post by Mark Forster '86
Photo Credit: 9/11 Memorial http://911memorial.org
This post was submitted by Communications and Marketing.