Marsha Canham's Blog

September 11, 2011

Where were you?

Filed under: Caesars Through the Fence — marshacanham @ 1:35 pm

When I was filling in guest posts for the Sample Sundays I deliberately left this Sunday free.  This same day ten years ago I was working on a book so I was deep into my routine, locked in my office from 8am embroiled in a sea battle, plotting out maneuvers between the Iron Rose and half the ships of the Spanish Main.  My husband knew I worked in total silence, no radio, no TV, no distractions so when the phone rang and it was him, I knew it had to be something important otherwise he’d just send an email and I’d find it through the day.  All he said was: Go turn on the TV, there’s been an explosion in one of the Towers.  He didn’t know what had happened, no one knew at that point the attack was deliberate, the news was just saying a small aircraft had struck the side of one tower.  I watched, took the opportunity to have a bowl of cereal and by the time I had filled the bowl and carried it into the family room, the second plane had struck and the whole world knew.  I sat there, cereal untouched, and watched as those two magnificent, indestructable towers came crashing down. I called him back and said: You’re not going to believe this…

I didn’t move off the couch all that day or that night, or all the next day. It was the sheer scope of the horror that kept me watching. I had been in New York late that summer, a month or so before it happened and I was actually inside one of the towers. Someone from Anchorage or Warsaw or Edinburgh who had never been to New York, never walked along the street beside those towers probably would never be able to imagine the size. Standing at the base and looking up, it was like they never ended, they rose up and touched the clouds. They aren’t called skyscrapers for no reason.  The fact that both of those enormous buildings became heaps of twisted girders and piles of vaporized dust in a matter of minutes…still shocks and astounds me to this day.  Where did all that concrete and steel go? I would have expected, at the least, a huge mountain of rubble several stories high, still dwarfing the buildings around them, but no.  They were just …gone.

So today, just some memories and thoughts for all those people who believed, as most of the world did, that those towers would stand forever.



  1. Kind of like the infamous JFK day . . . we all remember where we were, what we were doing. Jeff was in process of finishing up one job and moving to San Francisco for another, so he was staying with us for a brief period. Jen was in Florida on business, and her company refused to help her try to get home…basically abandoned totally on her own. They waited so long to act that no rental cars were left. That’s when our family’s dear friend, Rebecca Mueller, (now Williams) geared up to drive down to Florida to get Jen and start driving her back home. None of us will ever forget Becca’s caring gesture. Turned out it wasn’t necessary and Jen’s employer finally came through when flights were available again; but we had some anxious moments. Don’t know why any of us bothered to show up for work that day . . . little was accomplished other than remaining glued to the TVs available and totally disbelieving about what we were viewing. Changed us all profoundly, didn’t it? Yep; we all remember . . . .

    Comment by SurferG — September 11, 2011 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

  2. I was emailing back and forth with our mutual Intrepid friend, Kathy, early in the morning when Kathy wrote, “Now I’m really afraid, a plane has just gone into the World Trade Centre.”. I stupidly wrote back, “You’ve got to be kidding.”. Then I rushed downstairs and turned on the TV in time to see the second plane fly into the second tower. I was completely stunned. I knew people in one of those towers. And then there were thousands who lost love ones.

    I rushed back upstairs to my computer and emailed Katy again…I don’t remember what I said. The Coach was just getting up and I told her two planes had just flown into the Towers. She said…”On purpose?”. Yeah. Then I went back down to the TV and phoned Kathy to say it was stupid of me to say, “You’ve got to be kidding.” I sat glued to the TV for days crying over the horror of it.

    The survivors, the first responders, and the families who lost loved-ones must still suffer terrible flash-backs. I know I do and I was only a witness from afar..

    Comment by Jill Metcalf — September 12, 2011 @ 1:31 am | Reply

  3. And I saw a piece that many of the sniffer dogs became so despressed about not finding any live survivors, they planted live people for the dogs to find to boost their spirits. How sad it that? Being a dog-lover, and having a hunting dog as my companion, I get it.

    Comment by Jill Metcalf — September 12, 2011 @ 2:10 am | Reply

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