Once when I was young, I heard my mother describe her feelings, thoughts, and memories about the day that President Kennedy was shot. I was mesmerized. I remember thinking—I hope I can tell a story like that to my kids one day. God help me I never knew what I was I was asking…
I was at work, sorting mail, on 9/11/01.
A co-worker was listening to her radio with head-phones. She called out, “Some idiot just flew a plane into the World Trade Center”. Some of the men laughed and made fun of the pilot’s flying abilities.
Someone else asked Krista for details. She didn’t have any yet.
Twenty minutes or so passed by. Then, Krista stepped out of her work space and called out again, “Everybody? Something terrible is happening. A second plane just flew into the second World Trade Center tower. Both towers are on fire…”.
A stunned silence hung over the room for the rest of the morning. We all put our headphones on and listened to the news reports.
For a while there really wasn’t much information coming out of New York. Everything was chaos there.
Later, as I delivered mail on my route the stories started pouring in over the radio. I heard about people jumping out of windows dozens and dozens of floors above the ground—plunging to their deaths—to avoid the fires in the towers. I heard things that made me cry. And cry… and cry.
People on my route would come out to the car to get their mail from me and we would cry or pray together. All day long it went on. I remember sobbing deep into the night—the devastation was incalculable.
I will never forget this day for the rest of my life.
In the months afterwards, I saw an article about a woman who had made a quilt from pictures of the victims of 9/11. I thought it was a wonderful memorial. I would have loved to have made one just like it… but that kind of talent and skill escapes me. This is what I could do. The pattern is called “eight point star”. It’s hand quilted. It lays over my grandmother’s rocking chair in my living room to this day. It’s my very favorite quilt.