9-11 by Harper Workman
|Harper on 9-9-01|
The date: September 6, 2001. My dad and I flew out from Portland, Oregon, to Billings, Montana, to visit my Grandpa, who lived in Casper, Wyoming. At the time, I was only two years old. Our flight back to Portland was scheduled on September 11, 2001. We were camping in Grandpa’s old camper, which was full with mice. On that Tuesday morning, I was fishing when Grandpa got the call. He had to go up onto a little hill, so he could get better reception. When his call was finished he said:
“Well, Grandma says they blew up New York,” to which my dad replied,
“What do you mean, they blew up New York? WHO blew up New York?”
My grandpa had no idea, so we jumped into the car, and drove to a nearby town called Custer. Custer was a strange place. There was absolutely nobody outside. It was pretty early in the morning, but still, it was a bit creepy.
We pulled into a gas station, and walked inside. Behind the counter stood a small green refrigerator, and on top was a TV with the news on it. We sat down to watch as they played a recap of the second plane hitting, and the South Tower crumbling to the ground. We all sat, dumbfounded, even me, a tiny two year old. It seemed even I knew that something awful had happened.
We drove over to my Great Grandma’s house, in Laurel, Montana. We called up our airline, United, but needless to say, our flight back home was, “canceled until further notice,” which was devastating to us. All we could do to entertain ourselves was watch the news. After four days of getting denied by United, we finally got a call saying that our flight was on Friday afternoon. That was on September 15, 2001.
Our cousin, my dad’s first, and my second, drove us over to the airport. When we got there, it was a mad house. Everyone in the entire state, it seemed, was at the airport. We learned that our flight had been delayed for about three to four hours. After sitting in an overcrowded airport, our flight arrived, but the pilots (of course), had to rest because they had been on duty too long. So another three hours later, we finally got on our plane, and got back to Portland, but it was too late for Mom to pick us up. We had to take a taxi to get back home, and when we did, Mom burst into tears.
Even though it such a huge ordeal for us, it was nothing compared to what others were feeling. We had to put ourselves in the shoes of the people who had died, and their families. And when we got home, we were just happy to be together, which was more then what 3,000 other families had.