On 911, terrorists hijacked and crashed four passenger planes. America was in shock. I had just immigrated to the US and Fairbanks, Alaska about two months before the attack. Read my personal memories of 911.
- What Was the Weather on September 11 2001 in Alaska?
- My Memories of 911: There Was No Noise
- Something Was Different
- What Were the Key Events of September 11, 2001?
- What Happened on the 11 September 2001?
- Real or not Real?
- When the Internet Broke Down on Campus
- How Did People React to 911 on Campus?
- My Unconsciousness Had Noticed the Lack of Flight Noise
- Early Fall Work Outfit Ideas
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.
What Was the Weather on September 11 2001 in Alaska?
On the morning of September 11 2001, I walked my tomcat in the yard of the house we had rented after a day-long house hunting after our arrival in Alaska in July.
It was a beautiful, calm (no wind) Indian summer day. The yellow leaves of the birch trees looked beautiful against the deep forest-green of the black spruce. The cranberry and raspberry bushes made nice red and purple accents. The grass on the forest floor was still green. The blue sky glimpsed thru the leaves here and there.
It was about 8 am and the temperature at the airport was about 39F (3.9oC). However, since the house was up in the hills, it was above the inversion. Therefore, the temperature was actually higher than 39F. Moreover, the sunshine, low relative humidity and lack of wind gave the sensation of thermal comfort. Perfect for walking in a summer dress with cardigan in the Sun on the huge property of our landlords.
My Memories of 911: There Was No Noise
… but the squirrels chatting and throwing cones down the huge black spruces, some finches twittering and the rushing of the little creek at the bottom of the valley. The air smelled like being saturated with a mix of rotting cranberries and mushrooms. Above me, the sky was steel blue except for some snow white high level cirrus (feathery ice clouds).
Something Was Different
I couldn’t nail it like you can’t nail the Je ne sais pas of a stylish French woman. Our tomcat also behaved like something isn’t right. Therefore, I thought that he had smelled a wolf, lynx, bear, or something like that. As a result, we returned into the house. I packed my bag and left for work.
What Were the Key Events of September 11, 2001?
I enjoyed the music playing in the radio and the bumpy unpaved road that I was driving. While navigating around the potholes the radio broadcasted that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. My first thought was “OMG! What went wrong with that plane?” I had flown out of La Guardia as well as J.F.K. airport a couple of times in my life. How could a plane starting from either of these airports crash into this skyscraper? Not to mention that there is a limited air space over each city. Planes are forbidden to fly below this height.
What Happened on the 11 September 2001?
The music started playing again. Meanwhile I had reached Goldstream Road. This road is named after the little creek that like the road and the rail road winds thru the Goldstream Valley. This valley is mostly covered by permafrost except for the area of Ann’s Greenhouse. After a ten minutes drive or so, the speaker reported again about the crash and a second plane hitting the World Trade Center. He later said that another aircraft hit the Pentagon and another one went down and crashed into the fields. Terrorist had kidnaped four American planes!
My First Reaction Was Disbelief: Is Today a sort of April’s Fools Day?
“What unrealistic scenarios” was my first thought. “He probably had an over-dose of the movie Independence Day.” I had watched that movie in the original English version at the American Cinema, when we still lived in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany. It seemed eons ago. “Obviously, today is a day similar to April’s Fools Day in Germany.” My next thought was “I must be careful that they don’t play a joke on me today”. While walking thru the parking lot behind the Geophysical Institute I again had the feeling that something was wrong. However, I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me.
Real or not Real?
I was waiting at the elevator when a colleague joined. He didn’t greet me back, but said “Isn’t that awful? How can they hijack planes to crash them?” I didn’t say a word because I still wondered whether the reports were fake. But at the same time doubt came up. Shouldn’t he know it when today there is a day like April’s Fools Day in Germany. When I left the elevator, I said, “have a great day”.
When the Internet Broke Down on Campus
In my office, I called my husband and told him what I had heard in the radio. He hadn’t heard about it because he was working on a paper on his computer. He immediately pulled up the internet browser. On the first page, there was a movie of a plane flying straight into the World Trade Center. He was shocked! I was shocked too when he told me. Meanwhile my PC was up and running. I pulled the page, saw the movie shortly before the internet broke down. My memories of 911 have this scene burned in like a brand on cattle.
How Did People React to 911 on Campus?
Later that day, a student came to my office to pick up a homework assignment sheet. The students couldn’t download it from blackboard because the internet was too slow. “It’s probably because of the attacks” I said to the student. “What attacks?” “Didn’t you listen to the news today?” “No.” “Two planes went into the World Trade Center, one in the Pentagon and one in a field.” “You are kidding. That’s from a movie I watched at the cinema when in middle school.”
In the afternoon, the employees of Geophysical Institute made a Virgil on the campus of Alaska’s first University. We sang “God save America.” I again felt that something was wrong while being outside. Whenever I hear the song my memories of 911 come up.
My Unconsciousness Had Noticed the Lack of Flight Noise
On the evening when walking the cat again, I realized what had bothered me outside the entire day. There was no air traffic at all! After three days of no air traffic, all shelves were empty in the stores in town. You could only buy stuff that comes in bulk via the Alcan or by ship and then rail road or truck. Since then, I have the recommended six weeks of food supply in the pantry.
It’s important to have an emergency plan, and a food reserve.
Early Fall Work Outfit Idea
In this fall business casual look, the sandals and dress are thrift finds. The unusual print and color combination of red, orange, purple and black is very versatile to wear.
Photos of me: G. Kramm
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