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A Day In Our Memories

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  • A Day In Our Memories

    It is the eve of September 11, 2001, so much has happened since then, so many memories and losses. Tomorrow we will celebrate - remember and mourn the lives lost in the attack on New York City and the heroic measures taken by extra ordinary citizens over a field in Pennsylvania. For many of us we remember all too well where we were, and we will never forget. I was in training session at the Police Academy when pagers (yes, not cell phones, pagers) started going off and the police ranks began moving out. Then the room went quiet and the screen changed to the plane flying into the first tower. Minutes later we were dismissed to return to our agencies.

    Where were you on September 11th? No year has to be given to so many, yet 20 years later, there are some who were never there, as they had not been born yet. And 20 years later, there are young adults who are the children of so many victims of 9/11. They only have the stories of the loved ones they never knew, hero’s who ran into buildings doomed to fall. Hero’s who “worked the piles” hoping to find survivors and volunteers who swarmed the highways to get to a city under siege, to help as only they know how to help.

    Where were you on 9/11? I write this in remembrance as your Chapter Historian, I write this to the 911 Public Safety Telecommunicators in New York - Pennsylvania and Virginia specifically, but to all the 911 PSTs working that day. Those in NY, our own Atlantic Chapter, answering those calls from people trapped in the towers, doing all they could do to comfort them, help them during that dark time. Many stayed on the line taking down messages and numbers, last thoughts or making connections, all the while maybe seeing that scene unfold on monitors around them, or worst yet, in their minds. 911 PSTs across the country answering calls from loved ones who had family on the planes, calling 911 because THAT’s who call on possibly the worst day of your life. Many of us have gone to presentations from those who were actively involved in the events, the majority from the responder point of view. We’re read the reports that came out of the tragedy and many new protocols were put into place. We went and we learned and we pledged we would NEVER forget, and then we planed and trained in WMD and prayed the evil would stay away.

    This post is written to not only honor those who perished during and after the attacks, but to also honor the men and women who sat under the headsets and gave compassion - hope - strength and possibly tears to those who did not make it, and others that DID make it. Tomorrow, bells will ring, names of those who are no longer with us will read, flowers laid and tears shed for those beautiful souls. As we honor those who did not come home, take a moment to honor those 911 Telecommunicators, some of whom are STILL answering those calls. They put their training - experience and courage to the test that day and EVERYDAY after.

    Where are YOU this 9/11?

    With Respect,

  • #2
    I was at my 9-1-1 console working day shift. An EMT called us, my partner reached up to turn on the tv. We couldn't believe our eyes as the top of the tower was burning, Matt and Katie debating on what type of plane was involved in striking the building. My only very remote involvement with 9/11 that day was a 9-1-1 call from the Atlantic City Airport which is actually in my hometown of Egg Harbor Township, NJ. A gentleman called 9-1-1 to ask for help in getting back to New York City since his plane was supposed to land at La Guardia. FAA had closed the Airspace and his plane landed at the nearest airport. I told him, I was sorry, but he would have to go to the help desk at the airport. I recall assembling ambulance crews to head north to a staging area on the Garden State Parkway. 21 years later on the 21st Anniversary I was back at my 9-1-1 console; I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.


    • #3
      I was at work. We had heard of something big that occurred in NYC, so we turned on the news to see Tom Brokaw reporting that a plane had flown into one of the World Trae Centers. The discussion wondered how a plane could accidentally fly into the building on a bluebird day. While Tom was reporting the event with a live camera recording the tower, the camera zoomed out just as the second plane flew into the other tower. At that moment, everyone in the PSAP knew this was no accident, nor was the first one. My blood turned cold as I knew it would be a bad day that turned out to be one of the bleakest days in America.