"You Asked and We Listened"
This blog was originally posted on 9/10/10 at http://lisbethcarter.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/9-11-remembered/
On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger planes and declared war on the United States.
The following is my account of that day.
It was a beautiful morning in Boston and I was off on another business trip. Upon arrival to the Logan Airport I ran into many friends
and colleagues – it’s a small world and it seems even smaller in
airports. I remember one friend in particular, I had met him the
previous year during an interview. I remember thinking he was brilliant
and I pondered if I had made a mistake not taking that job. We joked and
he said it wasn’t too late to change my flight and fly to San Francisco
for a “power” conference. It was tempting and I’m blessed that I did
not change my plans.
A great morning continued with an automatic upgrade to first class. I still remember the man who seemed overly frustrated that his friend had
not shown up and that he had to sit next to me. Our flight was second
in position to take off, right behind American Airlines Flight 11 and
before United Flight 175. It was a crystal clear morning as I watched
the other planes out the window, instead of watching the aggravated man
next to me.
Attempting to review the schedules at Networld + Interop, I began to have an uneasy feeling that I could not shake and the aggravated man
next to me was making it worse. The pilot announced, “It’s a clear day
and we are just passing over Manhattan. If you look out the window you
will see….” His voice trailed off as I stared out my window in shock. A
plane had just hit The World Trade Center Tower and smoke was starting
to bellow into the air. I turned to say something to my fellow passenger
only to see an odd smile and hear him say, “It’s a great day for
America” as he got up and went into the bathroom. I wanted to throw up
and I felt my body tense. I turned and continued to stare out the
What took place next is still discombobulated in my head. A series of announcements from a pilot who was clearly in shock. “We are not quite
sure what type of aircraft has hit the tower,” “Ladies and gentleman
we have just learned the tower has been hit by a commercial jet,”
“Please stay calm as we attempt to find out what is happening,” “A
second plane has hit The World Trade Center,” and then something
happened. I tried to reflect on my life, but memories of my father’s
teachings about our Country, my America, rushed into my head. I felt my
core wrench in disbelief upon the realization that something was very
As we circled for hours I remember watching and listening to the attendant scrambling through the overhead bin and babbling about a
potential bomb. Was I going to land? Was the bomb on our flight? Why are
they not letting us land? I was stuck and felt helpless.
Upon landing, security escorted everyone off the flight and I learned we were the last plane to land that afternoon. The airport terminal was
eerily quiet and I turned to watch an overhead television broadcast
what I had just witnessed. It was there I learned the American Airline
Flight 11 that had left Boston right before me and the United Flight 175
that had left Boston right after me, had hit the twin towers. Another
plane had flown into the Pentagon and a fourth had crashed in
Pennsylvania. I wept and asked a stranger why I had been spared. The
realization of friends lost that I had just smiled and talked with that
morning and others that worked in the towers, swept over me. Waves of
anger, guilt and grief swept over me as I continued to watch. We were at
It took over a year for me to find the strength to visit Ground Zero and when I did, I wept. Standing at that holy ground, I made peace with
myself and finally felt calm. It was there that I realized that one day I
would find a way to serve and protect our Country.
That day came last November when I announced my bid for the U.S. House of Representatives. I am here to serve, to honor those who serve
and have given their lives to protect. To our troops, our first
responders and those who suffered loss on September 11, 2001 – I am at
God Bless America and cast out all those who wish to destroy it.