9-11 Viewer Memories

We were having our own tragedy when the 9-11 attack occurred. My Daughter had given birth to our Grandson on Sept 1st 2001. She had to have an emergency C section because his heart rate kept dropping to a dangerous level.

She came home on Sept 4th, however, was rushed back to the hospital on Sept 6th at around 10:00PM because she could not breathe. We received the call from my Son-in-law around midnight that she was having a CT scan and that they would not let him have the newborn in the emergency room for fear of infection and that he was sitting in the parking lot. The hospital was at least an hour away for us. The drive from Stillman Valley to Geneva was the longest ride of my life not knowing what was going on. They found that she had a Pulmonary Embolism (Blood clots in both lungs) and she very well could have had a heart attack, a stroke, or lost her life. The nurses kept asking her if she knew how lucky she really was. She was still in the hospital on Sept 11th. I was staying at her place in Dekalb and taking turns with my Son-in-law staying with my Daughter and my Grandson at the hospital. I remember waking on their couch to the news broadcast on 23, thinking they were showing the bombing of the Trade Center that happened a few years back. Then I notice a "Live" symbol in the corner of the screen and all of the sudden some one saying "Oh my God there is another one" and at that moment the second plane hitting the second building. I went into a panic. You know they say "when it rains it pours"? Of course I needed to know at that moment that my daughter was OK. I was fumbling to find the phone number of the hospital, still in a panic, to call my Daughter and Son-in-law to see if they were OK and see if they were watching. (She was OK and they were watching too) I was in shock. It was like a movie not real life. I couldn't imagine what could possibly be happening. They then reported other planes missing. It was very frightening. I can't imagine what it was like for the people in New York. What a tragedy. When I returned to work the following week, I spoke with one of my contacts that lives in Manhattan, and she told me that they had a thunderstorm one night shortly after the attack and they woke in a panic thinking it was happening again. How sad to be so terrified.

I think the worst part for me was watching the people jumping from the buildings and the sound of them hitting the roof. I can't imagine the families and friends of those very people watching that take place! My family and I fly a lot. Luckily none of us were on a plane that day. It has not stopped us from flying, although I don't think I would want to be on a plane today. I know security is at a high level today, but random checks can still miss the bad guys.

I heard a plane go over the house this morning and my stomach turned. We live near the Nuclear Plant in Byron so that is always something on my mind. I am taking today to count my blessings, tell my family that I love them, and to thank God for keeping my family safe!

My daughter made a full recovery and my Grandson is a year old and running all over the house now. I pray that we all get through this day and it will be put behind us, however, we will all remember where we were on 9-11. I just hope that my Grandson has a future without terrorism. I could not bear for him to have to go to war someday.
Julie Stillman Valley, Illinois...


Hi I'm Kathy DeMaria of Rockford. My memories of 9-11 are of waiting to hear if my husband, who is a pilot for a major carrier, was one of the planes involved in the terrorist attacks. Luckily, his trip out of Newark to L.A. departed 6 hours before. He was trapped in L.A. during the lockdown for 3 days. I know that my husband is totally commited to his passengers and crew and would do his best to keep them safe. I do thank God for keeping him safe. It has made me more nervous about him flying, but I know he loves what he does. Please pray for peace!

Thank you and God Bless America

Kathy DeMaria

My husband and I were on vacation out east and on our way to attend our sons graduation from Navy Officers Induction School in Rhode Island.

We went through New York City, crossing the Washington St. bridge on Sept. 10th. On the morning of 9-11 we were having breakfast at our hotel in Connecticut when we saw the news of the attack on the WTC. We watched as the plane hit the second tower. We both felt at that time that it was a diliberate attack.

Our sons graduation from OIC was to be on Friday morning with a banquet on Thurs. night. The base was closed down immediately after the attack and personnel were confined to quarters. The banquet was cancelled and on Friday morning we had to park outside the base and be bused on for the graduation and then bused back to the parking lot after the ceremony. Security was tight.

Needless to say, our vacation was not as enjoyable as we had planned. Many of the places we had planned to visit were either closed or had the radio on to keep up with the news. When we went back to our hotel at night, all we wanted to do was watch the news to see if more survivors were found. Our hearts were heavy for the people that were lost and their families.

We will never forget where we were on 9-11 or the faces of all those whose were involved in the rescue attempts . There were many heroes who I feel still need our prayers for all the memories of the things that they saw during the days that followed.

Each day we are alive is a gift from God and we should thank Him for all that we have and all the special people in our lives. Let your "special loved ones" know how much they mean to you often.

Roseann Ahrens

My plane was scheduled to land at Reagan National Airport 4 minutes after the attack on the Pentagon. The airline wouldn't give us any information, and kept us circling, away from the Pentagon, until finally diverting us to Dulles, half an hour later. It was another 45 minutes before we finally got to the gate. I got on my phone, and called my best friend, that I was to meet, and found out what happened. He told me that his best bud, that he'd known for 20 years, wasn't answering his phone, and he couldn't get any response from him on AIM. I had the opportunity to talk to Neil a few times, and he was a wonderful man. I called up Auburn High School, and left a message for my daughter that I was all right, and was going to be delayed for a few days.

My friend was devastated, and knew at that time that he was gone. My day trip turned into five days, which I'm happy for, because I was able to be there for him. I was finally able to secure a rental car on the afternoon of the 14th, and drove back, crying most of the way, because I didn't want to leave him. To this day, we still talk about Neil, and all of the good times that they had together. He misses him so much. Now my friend works at the Pentagon, and I'm afraid for him everyday.

I really get annoyed sometimes though, at the news media. I know the devastation and loss of life was much greater in New York, than at the Pentagon or in Pennsylvania, but you rarely hear about them, and the people that were affected by those tragedies also. September 11, is the new "Day that will live in infamy". Those lost will be in our hearts forever, and we miss you all.

Vicki Langy

On the morning of Sept. 11 was I made my kids breakfest and woke them up to eat and ssay good morning , but it wasn' t a good morning when i turned the Television on for my kids to watch their daily program . As i sat down to call my mother to wish her Happy Birthday i thought " well today is any other normal day" i was flipping through the channels until i came upon what would change America for the rest of our lifes i sat down down and held my kids and cried and prayed that everyone would be able to get okay and as i started to pray the first tower went down i yelled and my kids couldnt firgue out what was going on i stay down and told them that someone was a very bad person and that alot of people would be with angels. To this day my Daugther asks "mommy i hope one day that the people that are with the angels that their family sees them one day " and that makes me want to cry everytime i hear them words..............


I shall, for as long as I live, never forget the fear and anguish I felt on September 11, 2001. I had been at work only minutes when a co-worker approched me and said her husband had just called and said a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings in New York City. My first thought was really nothing. Minutes later the same co-worker announced to all in the office another plane had crashed in New York into the second trade center tower, the Pentagon was on fire and there were reports of a plane crash in Penn. That was it for me. FEAR set in BIGTIME! I looked across the street from where I work to our childrens school and thought to myself "I need to go get them and take them home...We are at war." But, I didn't go get them because I had FAITH in my government. And my government and the "HEROS" in N.Y. came through. Our children usually ride the bus home, but that afternoon I left work a little early, picked them up and drove them home from school, hugged each when we arrived home and thanked God my children and the rest of my country were safe. To the famlies of all those lost on 9-11 I want to say you have been in our thoughts and prayers and always will be. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Mike and Sue Alberstett

I will never forget the day of 9-11. It was one of the memories i wish i could forget, but no matter what i wont because the way it has /and will effect us in the future,,,but here is my story... I got up every morning like i always did, and i went to school. I was in 1st hour BJ publications at Jefferson and we were reading form our books on proper ways to write a story in a news paper and studding past cases. We got interupted by a call .We all kept reading aloud while or teacher answerd the phone. She hung up the phone and proceeded to tell the class that the world trade towers had been bombed. We all became silent to find out what had happened. She quickly got the TV and put it on CNN i believe and we watched as the one trade tower had been in flames and had seen people in horror. We then heard another noise, it sounded to be another airplane, and it was the whole class watched as the 2nd plain hit and we all gasped. I cant really remeber when the 3rd airplane hit the pentagon all I remeber is or teacher got another call from a previous student that she had that could see the smoke from her dorm by the pentagon. Even though everything was happening fast and the class got talkative about what was happening and there where then a million things happening at once it all seemed to be a slow motion dream.. but it wasn't. I remeber then going to my 2nd hour and no1 else really knew about it so we all filled alot of the techers in and they all got TV's. It was a day when we all were watching what was happening to our nation almost every hour. When we got to our 3rd hour our princepal gave us a speech as he told us what had happened. I even remeber some people crying or upset about it cause some had family there and some were scared it would reach here since we live so close to Chicago. All that was going through my mind is "Why do these people want to hurt us?" "What did we do to them to have this happen?" There was also alot of anger in me because, "To kill us just because we are americans that have differnt beliefs is no reason to kill us or anyone at all". After school was out that day, i wne tot a freinds house to watch moer of what was going on to get the full story... we then turned it to MTV and BET and we knew it was huge if they have even stopped programing.

I think this day was the most i have ever watched the TV. I then went home that night and watched more TV with my parents. I then went to bed. The next morning I remember getting up and looking at the newspapers I was in total shock and aw. I mean no direspect but I believe that the newspapers across the country shouldnt of put people on the front page free falling form a skyscraper... to me that was total disrespect .. all i want to know from who put it on there is.. "How would you feel if that was your spose,child,mother,father free falling from the towers?". I dont think you would be happy. I cant really remeber 9~12 the next day but i do remember all the speechs that the princapal gave and all the things we did as a rememberance to 9-11 as a country. The one thing I wont forget is the latter that the canadians wrote to us about our crountry always helping others wether it was money, men for wars, or supplys or anything, and when the canadians said they were proud to be our neighbors or having our back on this ... it made me cry. Well thats my story of what happened and what i was doing durring this

I was at work not kinowing that it would affect our family later in months to come. My son was home on leave from a 3 year tour in Germany. His Aunt had heard what happen in New York and called to see how he was if he had to leave. He then called me and said "mom, I know we are going to go to war". And so he did at Christmas with the 10th Mountain Division he left for Afganstan. My 4 year old granddaughter on the phone saying " Grandma I cried all night last night for daddy" More tears! Then in March was the hard time of Operation Anacada. And the terrible words on the news "3 Chincoks down and 8 soldiers gone". A wife and mother's nightmare! Cling to the phone, clinging to the TV not knowing if it was him but knowing he was going in! Knowing he was turning 25 years old while in the mountains and hoping praying he made it! I felt a close connection at that time to the mom of the passenger on flight 93 to PA. Your arms ach to hold your son!!!

Then the home coming! My son was not a boy anymore he had done and experience things I have tried all my life to protect him from! He called his dad and told him "I know now dad, I know now! They just hugged no other words needed to be said. For my husband is a Vietnam Vet. As my son put it FREEDOM IS NOT FREE
and we all take that for granted! When you use your rights remember some one died so you have the freedom to use the rights!

Remembering our Heroes

Although its been a year , We still can’t believe your gone.
The things in life you stood for , Our Nation, is Standing Strong
Americans have joined together, we fly the flag from shore to shore
Our Freedom means more to us, than it ever has before

We hope you get this message, written by a simple hand
We hope it fills the airways, and spreads across this Great Land
You are always here inside our hearts, Majestic heroes that you are
Losing you wounded us deeply, Our land will forever bear the scar

You can rest in peace, Knowing you made a difference in this life
Because of you we’re stronger now, we’ll not yield to the terrorists knife because of you we take pride in our country, and though some think it odd Because of you, we will forever be, One Nation Under God

Copyright August, 2002
All right reserved, not to be copied or reprinted without author permission. Currently being considered by the International Society of Poets for inclusion in their Hardbound Anthology Series

Original signed copy of this work to be sold at Rockford fraternal order of Eagles benefit to help fight against child abuse on Saturday August 24, 2002 all proceeds to Jimmy Durante fund against child abuse

Bill Cook
Byron, IL

On 9/11/01, I was at work when the World Trade Center and Pentagon was hit by terrorists...my first reactions and words were "this is and act of war...we are at war".

My son was in Navy Boot Camp at Great Lakes, IL. My thoughts and prayers went towards him. I called his recruiter to make sure all was secure there. My son-in-law was preparing to leave for Navy Boot Camp, prayers of peace and strength were lifted up for him, my daughter and grandson were lifted up for them as well.

I had been in the Navy on active duty 1975-82 and in the Navy Reserves from 1986-90. I was trained, I was outraged as so many other Americans were but I had to do something. A week after 9/11/01, I contacted my son's Navy recruiter by e-mail 4 times before he responded. At first he was surprised by what this 47 yr old mother was requesting. I was asking what it would take to bring me back onto active duty. For six weeks we waited...I was 2 years too old for active service but not too old for the reserves. I lost nearly 60 pounds...got in shape mentally and physically.

On June 19, 2002 I raised my right hand in front of friends and family, (as my son was stepping onto a plane to fly to his "C" School, advanced school) and was sworn into the US Navy Reserves. I am currently assigned to a Fleet Hospital (a 500 bed mobil hospital unit, a larger hospital than Rockford Memorial Hospital) Unit out of Great Lakes, IL.

Freedom isn't free...it comes with a great price. We all have to do our job, whatever is in our heart or calling to keep our nation free, and safe for this and future generations.

Selinda Dally
Rockford, IL

What a tragic and confusing day for the Beaches!

My mother, Sonja, my sister, Jodi, and I had traveled to Sweden on September 5 to visit our family. We were thrilled to see the land of my
grandparents...our "Mother Land"!

We were returning to Stenungsund from a day trip full of touring places where my grandfather, Joseph Carlson, grew up. My Uncle Lennart had the radio playing, and we kept hearing in Swedish "Myket" death....meaning much death in the USA....New York. Then, we began noticing the Swedish flags that we were passing on the homes and businesses being put to half mast. We began to panic, and hurried back to watch CNN at our relatives home. Although the words were in Swedish, the footage could be understood in any language...oh, our hearts were filled with fear! My two children and husband were home in the states without me, my father, Alderman Frank Beach, was planning on flying to meet us on the 12th, and now we were unsure of anyone's safety, or when we could return home. My mother and sister and I got on our knees and prayed for our country and our loved ones...and wept openly in front of our stunned relatives.

It was next to impossible to get a phone line to the states, and even email was not able to be sent...so I sent a plea letter to all people on my mailing list, and only one friend received this and was able to mail me....hourly, it seemed, to update me on the unfolding trauma ( Thank you, Mike).

Jodi and I were scheduled to leave Sweden on the 15th, but were told
initially that it would be at least 2 weeks before we could return. We again prayed, and we awakened on the morning of the 15th to find that our flight may still be going. So Jodi and I packed up, said a tearful good-bye to our family...including our precious mother, who could not get on our flight due to a later booking, and left Gothenburg on a commuter flight toward Copenhagen, Denmark. This is where the closest hub was, and we were assured when we left Sweden that there would be no problem. When we arrived in Copenhagen, we were again filled with terror....the airlines were taking flights starting that day, but accepting all passengers first that had tickets for the 11th, then 12th.....ect. Our tickets were for the 15th! We knew we were in trouble! We didn't know the language, we had little to no money, would couldn't get ahold of anyone in Sweden or the States forever it seemed...so we waited. And waited. And we met the most wonderful people...stuck like us in a foreign land, trying to get home to their lives.

Then the most amazing things started to happen....Jodi went to the counter and asked if we could have a room for the night...we got a beautiful room (for 2 nights!) at the Airport Hilton (attached to the very terminal where we were), plus...free smorgasbords for all meals, free calls to the USA, and the most incredible display of comroderie and support, not only for us, but for our nation as a whole! We were humbled continually by the support...we had American flags that we carried with us, and people on the street stopped us to hug us and give their support...they played out National Anthem every half hour at the airport, and everyone stopped and sang...it was really amazing!!

When we actually did get the call that we were leaving, customs was a whole nother story.(took 6 hours to get through, and were still unsure if we made it on to the passenger list) Very scary, indeed....eventully having us carry our own luggage on to the field and board the plane right there. We were unsure all the way home...9-10 hours...if we were actually coming home...or to Canada, or somewhere else. When we left the plane, and I saw my father and my family standing waiting for us, I have never been so grateful to God for anything....the love of my family and the strength of the country.

Lori L. Beach-Yates

A sad, solumn day for America

The day started out as a normal day. I got up, got ready for school, and went to the bus stop. When I got off the bus at Harvard High I went to my first hour class and sat in the desk and watched the news my teacher had on. Then all of a sudden Everyone who was in the class gasped and some started to cry. The plane has crashed into tower 1. We didn't do much after we seen what had happened we sat and watched the news during class and put our studying aside. When the bell rang for second hour everyone was in a hurry to get to there next class hoping to watch the news again. I however wasn't in to much of a hurry, my next class was gym and we didn't have a t.v. in the gym but to my surprise instead of going to the weight lifting room we went into an empty class room and sat and watched and waited to see what would happen next the second plane has already crashed into the second tower and now the first tower has collapsed everyone was in awe and nobody talked we just sat and watched while tears were streaming down our faces thinking about why people would do such a thing. Now we were seeing people jumping out of the towers, jumping to there death just to be out of the collapsing buildings. Some have just talked to their relatives and friends and family. Now the bell rings again for third hour and again everyone in a hurry to get to there next class to watch news again. Although it was just being repeated footage we still watched in awe just waiting for the day to get over with. Still seeing people jump to their death. Everyone is sitting in there seats and even the trouble makers are quiet and have tears streaming down their face. Finally the bell rings for last hour and again everyone is in a hurry to get to their next hour to watch news. Towards the end of the class we have announcments. There's only one announcment today "Good afternoon all. All clubs have been cancelled and all sports have been cancelled for the following week. Be safe and watch what your doing going home." The school day is over and what should have been a great day for all was a sad solumn day for all. I get home and I go to my room and lay in the bed thinking why someone would do such thing while tears are streaming down my face and my eyes are becoming red and swollen. I pray for everyone to be all right and that not many will lose their lives and go to bed late that night. -God bless everyone.

Heidi Orr

i was at work on tue sept 11th i had no idea what was happening i walked over to ourelectronics dept where i saw some co workers standing i said whats going on? they said a plane just hit the world trade center as i watched i thought to my self what a tragedy then i saw the second plane hit i knew this wasnt a accident and they were talking terriorist attacks,as i watched the first tower fall i felt a big knott in my stomach,then #2 went down i was really sick and stunned by it all....... questions was this really happening, those poor people thenwe heard reports of the other planes.....those families whos loved ones werent coming home that night....the kids .....the wives.....husbands......it was a awful evening this is the worst year for america..........im proud of the way we stood united i hope it stays that way

To: Staff at WIFR

The attack on our country occurred while I was on a bus ride to O'hare.
The driver turned the radio on and everyone stared at me - I was the
only one in an airline uniform.

O’Hare was empty except fo the crew areas where shell shocked people who had just lost coworkers, friends, fellow Americans now struggled to get home anyway they could.

On Sept 18th I worked (as a flight attendant) to London where I met
a woman whose home was at ground zero. She was alive because many hours before the attack, her flight to N.Y. was late due to an everyday, annoying, normal delay at Heathrow - we never know what form a blessing will take.

Name Withheld

I remember very Cleary on that horrible day when everything seemed unreal.

I was bringing my children to school when the news alert came on the radio. I was at a stop sign flabbergasted at what I just heard, it was like time stood still and my heart felt this lonely sad feeling of overwhelming grief.

I heard the news over and over that day and for the months after the attack. I was remembered time and time again, and with every memory, and with every image that we all seen on the television, that sadness will forever haunt each and everyone of us.

I know that I was changed by 9/11 and I feel that I am speaking for everyone in this country.

May Godless us all, and keep us safe.


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