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The Day America Stood Still and Remembered God  

by LaVelle & Sally Jo Pitts  

 

     “A plane crashed into a building in New York City,” I heard someone say when they entered the guidance office at Bay High School.  I was handling student appointments regarding class concerns during the normal course of morning activities.   

     Because the main building was being renovated, guidance and administration were temporarily housed in two trailers.   One of the guidance counselors went to the administrator’s trailer to find out more.  When she returned, the news had changed from something unusual happening to a report that carried a tone of serious alarm.  

     Another plane had struck the World Trade Center in New York City.  It appeared our country was under some kind of attack.    It was unclear as to why and the extent.  Word came again that a plane hit the Pentagon.  Concern heightened. 

     I had a meeting in the Special Education teacher workroom. A TV was on and that is where I first saw the incredible sight on screen of the planes flying straight into the buildings and exploding.  We were glued to the images and listened to the newscasters’ comments as the tragedy unfolded.  We watched as the first building collapsed sending out huge billowing clouds of smoke and debris from the vantage point of the television cameras in the streets of Manhattan.  Then the second building collapsed. 

     Hearts turned to loved ones.  Parents called and administration allowed students to be checked out.  One panicked parent freaked out, rammed into an employee’s car, couldn’t get out, so jumped the curb and drove onto campus careening down the sidewalk and out onto Harrison Avenue. Trying to insure her daughter’s safety, she jeopardized the safety of others. 

     Steve Bornhoft, former News Herald editor and mentor to one of my students, called to see if he should still come for his regularly scheduled meeting.  I felt it would be good for him to be with his student during this unsettled time.  He came and we listened in silence to the radio in my office to reports as they came in while he waited for his student to arrive.   Word came that a plane meant to hit the White House crashed in Pennsylvania when heroic passengers overpowered the hijackers.  

     It was a day of disbelief that brought us personally and nationally to a time of reflection.  Marquees across the nation bore the words, “God Bless America.” People wore ribbons of red white and blue with renewed pride in country.  There was a desire to be close to family and our spiritual roots, as churches were filled after this momentous day.  

     As Franklin D. Roosevelt said after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, this is “a date which will live in infamy,” this date, September 11, 2001, will remain an infamous date in our nation’s history.                                                                                         

 

   

PANAMA CITY, FL

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Lorna Cassie Bywater 

Author and Speaker

"Each meeting we go away with something new. . . I really enjoy the meetings. What a wonderful opportunity to get together with like-minded people."  

Lorna has published two books since joining us! 

   
 
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"Before I stumbled into this group most of my ideas amounted to nothing but procrastinating...now I have published my third book!"
 
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LAVELLE PITTS   
 
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Carole Allen Bailey  

 Author of The Lady and Her Porch     "If it had not been for the encouragement and true personal interest provided by others within this group, I'd still be saying "I'm going to write a book someday". It is with thanks to them that I achieved my lifelong dream of publishing a book ... " Book Two in the trilogy due out this year!