Remembering 9/11/01

I haven’t written much about the terrorist attacks that happened on this day 13 years ago. Attacks that forever changed our country and our world. No longer were national leaders the only ones to issue and carryout attacks on foreign soil. Yes, there had been previous terror attacks. The airplane bombing over Scotland, the embassy in Lebanon. However, those were far away. We still felt safe and naive here in North America. No more would we feel that way.

The morning of 9/11/01, I was getting up to go to work when God Bless America came on the radio. That was odd. Then they told World Trade Center in New York City had been hit with a jetliner. A few minutes later, I got a call from the principal where I worked saying to turn on the tv because school had been cancelled. There I watched in horror as Tower 2 fell. As the horrible day progressed, we learned more attacks occurred.

National airspace over the entire US and Canada was closed to all civilian planes, both commercial and private for several days. It was eerily quiet since we are used to hearing all kinds of airplanes flying overhead all day. This was a hardship here in Alaska for several reasons. It was right in the middle of hunting season. Many hunters out in the bush had no way to know what happened. Guides had to get special permission to fly and pick up isolated hunters from their camps. Food in grocery stores started to run out since cargo planes couldn’t fly. Rice, flour, and sugar were actually rationed. You weren’t allowed to buy more than 50 pounds of flour and rice or 20 pounds of sugar.

In Valdez, Alaska the oil tankers were all ordered out of port and back to sea in case there was an attack on the oil terminal there. Major hotels and government offices in Anchorage were evacuated under orders from Gov. Knowles.

It was a very scary, tense, and uncertain time. We learned a new phrase “war on terror”. No longer was war simply between nations. Now it was between ideals, between freedom and fear. Fear can not win.

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