Remembering 9/11

We had just moved from Edwards AFB, CA to Hanscom AFB, MA.  It was my second day at my new job, at Hanscom AFB Fire Department.  For emergency response personnel it was a horrific day.  A few of our Fire Fighters would get off shift, drive to New York and work the rescue as volunteers and drove back for their 24 hour shift the next day at Hanscom.  Two of the reservist were from New York and helplessly watched, wishing they were there.


I felt alone.  Having just moved to Hanscom, I had no friends.  The base went to treatcon Delta, which meant total lock down.  I was able to get my kids home from daycare and school, and then we were confined to our base home.  My husband – now ex-husband – although stationed at Hanscom, his work site was off base.  And the gates were locked, and he could not get home.  I felt trapped.  I felt scared.  Knowing the flights had originated out of Boston, where there more terrorists in the area, and would they target the Air Force Base, only 20 miles away next?  I feared for the safety of my family.  I cried for the lives lost.  It forever changed my life in so many ways.


At work the next day, things were somber.  For Emergency Response personnel, 9-11 brought on a whole new realm of responsibilities.  I was appointed to the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) Oversight Committee by the Fire Chief to assist him.  We spend the year on response plans, contingency planning.  I know things that I wish I didn’t.  The world we live in is a scary place.  I think the time I spent with Hanscom Fire Dept. has made me more aware of terrorism, and the treats that come to us every day which John Q. Public will never know.   When I think about today, I remember the lives that were lost.  But it is also a reminder to me of all the men and women who are first responders, ready to put their lives on the line every day.  And I am grateful.



  1. we_be_toys Said:

    Powerful memories. I’m glad I don’t know what you know – I have a hard enough time sleeping as it is. I’m really glad you talked about the rescue volunteers – those incredibly courageous people who went into that hell, some never to return. I am grateful to them as well.

    I can’t even begin to imagine how truly scary it would feel, to be trapped on an airbase near Boston during that time. Oh honey!

  2. catnip35 Said:

    Thank you writing this, it’s a perspective that most of us didn’t have. I imagine the mood on base was somber for quite some time.

  3. Mary Beth Said:

    I’m from NJ and I too remember all the volunteers pouring in from all over the country. It was a time when everyone pulled together to help and that is the most important memory I choose to hold close to my heart every time I start to get overwhelmed.

  4. Kaza Said:

    Nice post. I think we’re all reflecting today. I don’t have the energy to post on it, but I’ve been deep in thought throughout the day. They played the original tapes on the morning shows this a.m. and I was amazed by how emotional it was to watch it all again.

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