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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guest Post from Jane Krause

Earlier, I received this e-mail from Jane Krause, one of my Sisters in Zona Rosa.  She does not have a blog, and I am hoping that seeing her work published in this forum will encourage to build one of her own.  I had trouble with the formatting, just couldn't get the email to cut and paste right.  (Sorry, Jane).  Increasing your screen size will make it read more like it should.

I was working outside of Washington, DC during Sept. 11, 2001. I was in my
office building in Fairfax, VA with my colleagues. At around 8:50 I¹d
gotten up to get another cup of coffee. Although my radio was on in my
office and I recall hearing something about the ³World Trade Center² the
volume wasn¹t up high enough for me to make any kind of connection. However
one of my colleagues had had the volume turned up enough on her radio
because she was in the conference room with the TV on when I passed by ­
something highly unusual for that time of day. I stopped in to see what she
was watching and slowly sank into a chair next to her as the horrible
spectacle unfolded before our eyes. Eventually all of my office mates
gravitated to the conference room.

By the time the second plane hit the South Tower there were probably 8
people in the conference room. As the second plane came into view I recall
thinking ³is this a replay of some sort?² I turned to the woman next to me
and said, ³This can¹t possibly be another plane ­ they are saying it was an
accident.² But of course we could see the smoke from the North Tower and
knew it was no replay or accident. Some of us were crying, some of us were
angry, and we were all in shock. After the second plane hit and we knew it
was an attack I left to conference room to go back to my office to call my
Dad in Denver. It was 6 a.m. there and they would still be in bed unaware
of what was unfolding. He answered the phone, I told him to please turn on
to the news right away, that our country was under attack. This World War
II veteran¹s voice said only a sad ³oh, no². I told him I loved him and
would call him later. I then returned to the conference room to be with the

Shortly we heard the broadcaster say the Pentagon had been hit. We were
somewhere around 22 miles from there. Then we heard all kinds of rumors:
that there are planes heading towards the USA Today building, the White
House, the Capital and more. Shortly we heard about the Shanksville plane.

When the South Tower collapsed, the Executive Director of our organization
came out of his office where he had been alone watching the nightmare unfold
and told us all to go home. I was standing at the time with my hand over my
open mouth as I watched the mammoth building come down.

The drive home that day was surreal. As I stopped at the traffic lights and
looked at the other people in their cars stopped at the traffic lights I
could tell they were in shock, as was I. At the time I lived within about 3
miles of Dulles airport, the origins of two of the doomed flights. At the
time I did not know this but had I pulled up to a traffic light on my way to
work next to one of the highjackers on his way to kill all those people?

When I got home I called my neighbor because I did not want to be alone. I
took my dog, Sailor, and watched from her house for the next 8 hours as we
both sat in shocked disbelief. When I got there however some guy she was
had recently started dating was there. He didn¹t want to stay and watch the
news with us because was anxious to get to his golf game and left. My
impression was that he was clearly unable to grasp the depth of this attack.
I told her that if she ever went out with that guy again I would question
her sanity ­ he was clearly an insensitive jerk.

The days that followed revealed fighter jets flying over the Dulles airport
area instead of the usual air traffic.

I did go to work the next day because I had a prearranged meeting with my
boss, the Executive Director of our organization. I was unsure of the
protocol and asked him what were we supposed to be doing if anything? His
response was ³Onward and upward!² The next day, Thursday, I called in sick. 
© Jane Krause
September 11, 2011
I am sure Jane would love to receive a comment or two!


Sue said...

I am always interested in reading the 9/11 accounts of other Americans, and I particularly enjoyed reading yours.

Thanks! (And yes, you should start a blog!)


Linda @ A La Carte said...

Thank you Jane for this account of that day. I also was so shocked! I could feel your pain and horror at what was happening. It didn't seem real at first because, well this is America but yes it did happen and we should never forget!

Laoch of Chicago said...

That was such a disorienting and disquieting time. I think in many ways the shock of that day has not worn off.

Katie Gates said...

Thanks, CJ, for sharing this remembrance from your friend, Jane. And Jane, thank you for recording it. The ending really got me: "His response was 'Onward and upward!' The next day, Thursday, I called in sick." I would also have called in sick! (Downward and sideways, at least for a while...) It's so interesting to recall and assess the various individual responses to what happened that day. It tells a lot about a person, doesn't it?