How could anyone forget where they were on Sept. 11, 2001? I was going to visit my sister in Las Vegas. I arrived at the Manchester, N.H., airport at 7 a.m. for my Southwest flight, checked in, passed through security, bought the Boston Globe and boarded the plane for Las Vegas. I was talking with my seat partners as the plane backed out onto the tarmac. The plane taxied to the end of the tarmac and stopped. (Usually, you take off immediately.) We waited, and the pilot told us that we had to return to the terminal.
"We may be taking off in one hour, and if you go through security you will not be able to board the plane again." I began to see the luggage being off-loaded. I still had no idea of the disaster. I waited 15 minutes and decided to get something to eat. The horror that greeted me was overwhelming. I could not believe what I saw on the TV monitors. The towers were on fire, and the black smoke billowing from the buildings. I claimed my luggage and drove home to Beverly and was welcomed by my relieved family and friends.
The day of 9/11, I sat down in from of the TV with my coffee and breakfast. One of the Twin Towers was on fire. It shocked me. Then I called my daughter on the phone. She had a day care. I said, "Have the kids find something to occupy themselves and turn on the TV." Just as she did, a plane went into the other tower.
My grandson worked for the Fire Department in New York when all this was happening. I was a wreck. Later that morning, he called me and said he was in Massachusetts with a buddy who also was a New York fireman.