Susan Berry Cann
On Sept. 11, 2001, I was teaching a computer class at Manchester High School (now Manchester Essex Regional High) and explaining growing up in the late '50s, early '60s for a history project the class was assigned. We were discussing my experience with air raids and how lucky they were to live in a free world, when an announcement from the main office signified the Twin Towers disaster. A lot of confusion commenced and student emotions became the main focus for faculty.
Along with student concern, I had to worry about my son's whereabouts, since he was a New York City fire inspector and worked in all parts of the city. When I managed to find time and a cellphone, I headed for a closet (quiet place) in hopes of hearing my son's voice. No one in my family was able to connect with him, either.
After many agonizing hours, his call came to say he was on vacation with two friends, not in New York, and all were OK. One friend was a New York City firefighter and the other worked in the financial district. Had they not been on vacation, all three would have been in the throes of the disaster. The firefighter lost his brother (also a firefighter), and all three lost many friends. When I arrived home, my wonderful neighbors were waiting to hear if my son was OK, and good friends from Melbourne, Australia, called expressing their concern. Someone, hopefully my late husband, was watching over my family that day.