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Recollections of the September 11 Attacks

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My recollections of September 11, 2001 are still sharp in my memory, and ever will be.

At that time I was working with a select group of energetic girls who spent their days asleep, and their nights walking the well-lit and friendly streets of Chicago. I was handling their phone calls, keeping track of their whereabouts, and giving them what support I could. There were sometimes as many as 10 or 12 girls staying, off and on, at the house, and the fridge was generally opened. The stove too, and dishes had to be done. In exchange, the ladies had to obey a few simple rules, keeping everything “up there” and safe. No violence. No weapons, no trouble. You would be surprised how well it all worked out.When the girls were, as would occasionally happen, taken into custody by the local authorities, I was on hand in court for a little backup, and moral support. I’m not an unimpressive guy, and the girls were well schooled in their courtroom manners, and usually home that same evening.

On September 11, 2001, one of the girls – the sweetest to my way of thinking, and still a dear friend of mine – was due in court, Western and Belmont, if you know the area. I was there. My lovely friend never did appear, but that’s a separate matter.

On my arrival at about 8:45 AM I hadn’t heard a radio, nor had I seen a news report. I was therefore surprised at the uproar, the chaos, and the frenzy in the Chicago Courthouse. Everyone was beside himself. A bailiff told me that there had been some attacks from foreign powers. A world war might be in its earliest stages. “Everyone must go home!” he told me. “The jail cells will be open so that prisoners don’t perish with no hope to save themselves! The judges have left, going in all directions, so they won’t die en masse.” This all came as a surprise.

Moving back toward my Far North Side residence, I picked up various clues. The World Trade Center, a world hub I had once visited, had been attacked. The White House might soon be targeted.

Arriving home, the group of my friends in the living room was on their feet, watching stunned the televised coverage of the devastation. I told them what the bailiff had told me. We spent the day standing there. It was a day I won’t forget. We pray such a time won’t happen ever again.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • http://hellaheaven-ana.blogspot.com Ana

    Great article. We will always remember what we were doing when tragic events happen.
    Yesterday Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors remembered what happened sixty-six years ago at 08:15 AM. About 140.000 Japaneses died in a population of 300.000 because of the nuclear bombing during the WW2.
    They remember it in silence without few media coverage.
    Still what strikes me most are genocides that are still not described as such.
    It was hell 9/11 and it doesn’t matter who were the real perpetrators but there are many events that should never be forgotten that are not remembered for very strange reasons.
    It seems that some human beings, or the place they were killed, are more valuable than others and this is something I will never, never understand.

  • John Lake

    Ana:
    Most would disagree, but in fact Hiroshima and Nagasaki were major Japanese cities, with thousands and thousands of innocent civilians. These cities did include some military targets. We tend also to consider, perhaps irrationally, the brutal and inhumane behavior of the Japanese soldiers at that time in history. Japan feels real and deep remorse for that inhumanity, and has taken broad steps in better directions. These bombing should be remembered, even as Americans recall the pain of September, in 2001.