She was the 9/11 survivor known as the ‘Dust Lady,’ but her name was Marcy Borders. She died last year from cancer most likely as a result of being exposed to a number of known carcinogens from the debris and dust that covered her body. She was only 42.
I have previously written about 9/11 Search and Rescue dogs in their twilight years. Sadly, the last surviving dog was euthanised in June this year, at the age of 16. Her name was Bretagne. She entered the veterinary hospital for her journey to the Rainbow Bridge led by her owner and handler Denise Corliss, and flanked by a row of firefighters standing to attention.
I have recently read the timeline of the day of 9/11 on History Commons. My what a long read (it literally goes minute by minute), but extremely interesting. It is probably the most detailed account of the day you will ever find and it is full of links to the relevant source material.
If you find reading the entire day a bit much, you can click on particular events that interest you in the right sidebar.
September 11th 2001 changed our world, in a way that does not happen very often. The aftershocks are still reverberating around the world today. My thoughts go out to everyone who was directly and indirectly affected by it.
Everyone has one–maybe more. It’s one of those days when you know exactly where you were and what you were doing at the time of the “event”. My mum and I were headed into Boston for some early Christmas shopping, and I was at Ma and Dad’s house waiting for my mother to return from dropping Dad off at the local express bus to Logan Airport. Never before had I turned on the television during the day, but I did that day. Just as the picture was coming into focus, Ma came barrelling through the door in a fluster. I didn’t know what I was seeing on the TV, and Ma had heard the first part of the tragedy on the car radio coming home. Dad was on his way to a business trip to Dallas. We didn’t know if he was on the plane already, or if some other large metro area (like Dallas) was targeted, etc.
I left Ma at the house in case Dad came back, and made the trip back to the express bus station 40 minutes away. More and more information was coming in, and the bus station was packed with people trying to catch a bus, while others were waiting for loved ones to return. We had been told by this time that all commercial air flights were grounded. I didn’t know where Dad was in this mix, nor did anyone else. For hours I waited as slowly buses started returning from the airport, jammed with folks who were told no one was flying today. I held some woman in my arms, whose name I’ll never know, while she cried out her anxiety and fear about the fate of her husband. I called every hour or so back to my mother to let her know what was happening, but they were short calls, because cell phones didn’t hold such a large charge back then.
I was lucky. My dad managed to get on a bus and get back to the station after four or five hours. I think I cried all over him, but I didn’t feel awkward about it because I knew what was waiting for him when we got back home 🙂 We huddled around the TV that afternoon, watching as America’s enemies danced in the streets. We watched as our friends wept for the country that couldn’t be touched. We listened as the newscasters told us that the Pentagon was under attack, and that another plane was downed by its own passengers in an effort to ward off another assault. We listened in horror to emergency phone calls, and watched the dust and debris cover everyone. We watched as Andy Card entered a grade school classroom, where Mr. Bush was a guest, to whisper quietly to him what was happening. We saw the smile on Mr. Bush’s face slowly and subtly turn to steely anger–more in his eyes than anywhere. We heard him address us, and promise swift and harsh response.
We listened for days for the ambient sound of aircraft in the sky, then feared the sound when it finally broke the eerie silence. We waited to find out if dozens of news anchors, government workers, postal service personnel and others were really being attacked with packages containing anthrax, or if it was a hoax to keep us off balance.
For all the horror of those early days, Janet, I have to be honest. I felt safer in my country then than I do now, and I’m not alone. Not everyone liked Bush, but he was a paragon of strength to many of us in those first days of tragedy. But even now, as I look at the memorials on a day like today, it still makes me angry, and it still makes me cry. It is a day I will NEVER forget–nor will the thousands who lost (are still losing) loved ones. Anyone who was old enough to see that day will never forget. Today is Patriot Day in the United States of America–and we will never, EVER forget.
Wow I was so moved by your account. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing! xx