Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you on 9-11?

Photo by Dennis Whitehead for Corbus Park Police helicopter
at the Pentagon on 9-11

This was a memorable time for me.  I was a divorced single mom who was dating a US Park Police Helicopter Pilot named Keith Bohn.  He was working night shift at the time and I had taken the kids to school and headed down to Washington DC to meet him for a late breakfast after he got off work.  As I was driving into the nation's capital I was listening to the radio and for the first time starting hearing the radio announcers talking about a plane flying into the world trade center.  It was just speculation at this time and what they were talking about was a little plane.  When I arrived at the hanger, both Eagle One and Eagle Two (the US Park Police Helicopters) were taking off.  I didn't think anything about it because I knew his shift was done and it was probably the new shift of pilots taking off for a call. 

When I got inside the hanger, he was not there.  The only person left in the hanger was the helicopter technician who told me they just got a call to respond to the white house, that a plane was headed to Washington DC and that they were to go airborn.  He left me a quickly scribbled note that simply said...."got called into the air, there is another plane headed this way, go home and wait for me to call".  They had a big screen TV they left on which they were obviously watching when they got called airborn.  CNN was on the TV and it was showing video of the World Trade Center.  I was mesmerized with the images on the TV screen.  It was then that I left the city in tears! 

On my way home in the car I was glued to the radio.  I called my mother and sister to tell them what was going on in case I was the only non-police person who knew a plane was headed to Washington DC.  It was then that my mom told me that my brother Jay was doing some contract work at the Pentagon.  I told mom I would call Jay and tell him next but while talking to my mom the cell phone went dead and there was no coverage at that time.  I realized very quickly that this was an event like no other.  I went directly to my child's school and there had to be over 100 parents there to collect their children.  The children were being released to the parents as they arrived.  You have to understand that our schools in Howard County Maryland have families who's parents work at NSA (National Security Administration), The Pentagon, Washington DC Police and many other Washington DC government jobs.  The children were not told what was going on and why they were let out early but left it for the parents to to explain to them.  At home we were glued to the TV and it was then the Pentagon was being identified as being hit.  I saw on the TV Keith's Eagle Two helicopter removing injured people.

Park Police U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Mark D. Faram
Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Carmen L.Burgess of a Park Police helicopter evacuation of the Pentagon on 9-11

Later we found out my brother who was at the Pentagon that day was safe. Keith told me about his experience and here you can read about his account. He was the first on the scene, before police and before any medical team. They worked all day removing injured victims. His experience was something he will never forget! Sgt. Keith Bohn and other US Park Police Pilots were awarded a commendation for thier actions.  My children and I will NEVER forget that day. We ended up losing 3 parents of children who attended our elementary school. We had services for them at the school and they had to have grief counselors come and help the children for weeks. 


My cousin Molly had a completely different account of what happened that day. She was in New York.   Her account of what happened in New York will make you cry! She lost friends and she still remembers and writes about that day.  I just love her blog about trying to find Mr. Right in New York City.   It can be such a fun blog but today, she gives account of the events of 9-11 and it is a very sad post!   Love you Molly!

19 comments:

Pokey said...

A day that will never be forgotten by many of us, last year's class of second graders had a student, Steven, who's birthday was actually 9/11/01. His mother has 3 older sons, and had her tubes tied, and then found out she was pregnant with Steven. She counts him as a blessing to the sadness of the day.

Gene Black said...

I remember it sadly. It was a terrible day. I was at work, but we didn't get much done that day.

Pat said...

Our town in NJ lost several people that day. It was a commuting town and many who parked in the bus lots that morning never came home again. Some of our students in the town schools lost parents. The high school administration had all the kids whose parents worked in NYC come to the auditorium and they kept them all there that day and had counselors there and took good care of them until each one had a parent or other relative come get them. Some of them were then given devastating news. It was a horrible day and it remains a horrible day. I don't think any of us who were alive that day and old enough to understand will ever forget this....but that is good, because it is important that we remember. Thank you for this very thought-provoking post, Steph.

Angie said...

I remember where I was. What a scary and such a sad day. So many people lost their lives. I'll never forget!

Le blog de marylin said...

I am wholeheartedly with you of France

Best regards marylin

KaHolly said...

Remember that day? Like yesterday. It brings instant tears to my eyes. I didn't know anyone directly related to the tragedy, and can't in my wildest imagination imagine the pain and sorrow that resulted for so many, but I know I've never been the same since. ~karen

Linda said...

I'll never forget that day either. I didn't know anyone directly related to the tragedy but my heart certainly went out to the city and our country too. I'm so glad all of your family was safe. What a day! I think it changed all of us...

Barb said...

For some reason your account just makes me want to cry....

MCW said...

I didn't know Jay was at the Pentagon...glad everyone in our family was safe!

Lana said...

Hi Stephanie!
Wow. To read stories like your story makes me so proud of the men and women like your Keith that risked it all to help.
I can remember leaving work and going to the nearest church in town that I could find that the front doors were open and I spent a good amount of time just praying.

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I would love to see you there again!

Ruth Ann said...

I enjoyed reading your blog about September 11. I was looking at Quilter's blogs in Maryland and found yours. One small detail you might want to fix on this post- Keith was awarded "a commendation" that is, he was commended for his actions.

Cheryll said...

Unfortunately it's one day that everyone knows where they were and what they were doing! Such a terrible thing..we felt for you all, even though we live in Australia. My husband (who is a retired fire fighter)& I will be in NY next September and will pay our respects while there.

John'aLee said...

Wow! You really experienced 9-11 with front row seats. Thanks for sharing. By the way...love, love, your header!

Karen said...

I will never forget that day. I don't live anywhere near the DC / New York area. I don't know anyone personally who was directly affected, but it's still my country! I was glad to read your post about it, thank you for sharing.

Dawn said...

Stephanie ~ I can relate to your feelings that day. My hubby works in the area and is often in the Pentagon. Having no cell phone service was excruciating. Thank you for sharing your account and telling us of some of the heros of the day.

Kim D. said...

Thanks for sharing your story Stephanie. I'm sure we will all remember that day and what we were doing. Such a sad day for our country. I will always remember the days following with no planes in the sky, no jet noise above. How rare that is.

Vesuviusmama said...

I'm crying as I read your post - such a sad and surreal day. I had just moved out of NYC in July, and I couldn't believe what was happening "back home". Thanks for sharing.

Boledo said...

Found your blog today through a link on a friend's quilting blog. (FYI I grew up in Silver Spring where my Mom still lives, so of course I visit often, although I now live in Arizona. My brother lives in Highland, even closer to you.) We NEVER turn on the TV in the bedroom in the mornings, but FOR SOME REASON we did that day. While it was only 6:00 a.m. here it was 9:00 a.m. in NY, and the first plane had already hit. While we were watching the live coverage, the second plane hit. For the next 4 days I was glued to the TV. A lot of family and friends live/work in NYC (cousin's law firm was actually in the towers) but I was lucky that no one I knew was lost that day. Bobbi

JJ1950 said...

ms.hughes, its unclear if the events you are refering to happened BEFORE or AFTER the pentagon had been attacked. could you please clarify approximately what time it was when you arrived at the park police in anacostia, and also clarify which plane you mean when you say "another plane". was that the pentagon attack plane, or the later plane that was feared to be coming in for a second attack, but fortunately never reached the captiol? any other insights or clarifications you're willing to offer regarding the timing of the events would also be greatly appreciated, thank you.

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