Flag - 3rd Infantry

The 3rd Infantry Unfurls a Flag at the Pentagon During Rescue and Recovery Efforts after the 9/11 Attacks

My sister-in-law called and told me to turn on the television.

It was September 11. The year was 2001.

Then she asked if my husband, her brother, still worked at the Pentagon. It had been a year since he last worked there, I told her.

Then, with the rest of the nation, I watched.

I had never seen newscasters mute. They said nothing as we saw the towers fall.

All of us were thinking the same thing. What about the people inside?

Then, I saw the dots of light wink out on a map showing where all the planes in the country were in the air. Each light winking out was a plane safely down.

Until there were two, unaccounted for and unresponsive to calls to land.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered all planes grounded after the Pentagon was hit. That had never happened before.

255 planes from international flights coming toward the United States were diverted to 17 airports in Canada.

U. S. and Canadian air space was closed.

There were 5,000 flights over or approaching North America, with one million passengers. They were all grounded within three hours.

In the end, there was one, down in Pennysylvania, crashed by passengers who had spoken to their families and discovered the horrors of New York City and Washington, DC.

For the next year, the only music I played when I practiced piano was hymns from my childhood.

I had left the church where I learned them when I was 16, but they comforted me.

What comforted you?

When you are grieving, do you garden? Cook? Clean? Shop? Watch tv?

Do you walk, bike or swim? Surround yourself with friends?

As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, do your grandchildren know how 9/11 affected you? What you did in the aftermath? Where you were?

If they are under ten years old, have you discussed that day with them?

Have they asked you about it? Do they know what year 9/11 happened?

Start writing your stories. We can help. Click here to follow this blog in your reader for more tips on writing down your memories for your grandchildren.

To you and the grandchildren you hold close.

Carol Covin, “Granny-Guru”

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers


P.S. Join our newsletter list and get a free report on safety tips for new grandparents and how parenting has changed.

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  • Talking to Your Children About 9/11 (911memorial.org)
  • For Parents and Kids Alike, 9/11 Left Its Imprint (google.com/hostednews)
  • Do You Own a Piano? (casasugar.com)