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Brian’s Blog: 9/11 Memories

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We all have particular memories of the events and images from 11 years ago today. Today, I’ll share mine.

 

We all have events that happen during our lives  that we will remember, events so profound that we remember exactly where we were when they occurred. For us baby boomers, it’s the assassination of JFK, the Apollo 11 moon landing, the days John Lennon and President Reagan were shot, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, and of course, 9/11.

My wife Sandy and I were in the home stretch to adopt our first child, Autumn, and decided to take a Disneyland vacation to celebrate. We had flown down, and relied on shuttles for transportation. We had been in Anaheim, California for the better part of a week when my sister, her husband and one of their granddaughters drove over from Phoenix to spend some time with us. We had a day at Seaworld, and a day at Disneyland on Sept 10. We were staying with my brother in law’s niece in Mission Viejo. Even though they were very gracious and warm hosts, there’s something about staying in a stranger’s home that can be unsettling.

On Sept 11, my wife woke me up early, and told me that something had happened. We all know the events that unfolded on that day, so I won’t go into it.

There’s something about being a long way from home when a tragedy happens that makes you want to be at home. Kind of like when you’re a little kid and you get hurt and all you want to do is be in you mother’s arms. The question was, how were we going to get home?

Here we were, 1,100 miles from Yakima, with no car, staying in someone else’s home, and no flights were going anywhere. It was a very strange feeling.

Luckily, we were able to rent a mini van, our host got us to the car rental office, and we were on our way home. It was weird to see virtually no traffic on the Golden State Freeway after we got through downtown Los Angeles all the way past Sacramento and into northern California. We stopped for the night in a small town and glued ourselves to the TV, easily making the drive home the next day.

A couple of sidenotes. For the first time ever, my family had Seattle Mariners baseball tickets for a road game in Anaheim on Sept.11. That game was canceled, but I still have one of the tickets. We did get our money back from Ticketmaster.

Alaska Airlines refunded our entire flight, even though we had used half of it.

Hertz Rental Cars tried to gouge us on the rental price, but backed down after some national grumbling by other people in the same situation, refunding the overage.

All in all, I have some very distinct 9/11 memories. Please leave us a comment to share your 9/11 stories.

Visit the national September 11 Memorial and Museum website here.

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