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Memories of September 11, 2001

Soapweed

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On September 11, 2001, we had eaten breakfast and listened to the news and weather between 6 a.m. and 6:10 a.m. on KINI radio. Peach and I had saddled our horses and ridden northwest. She was moving some bulls out of the way, and I was starting to round up a pasture where we had cows with calves to precondition that day. A young couple working for us and living three miles to the west were meeting us at the pasture at 7 a.m. to help round up. I was on my horse on a high hill when my pocket phone rang. It was my dad and he said, "I am sure worried about Laura."

Laura was a nice 22 year old girl from England, and a shirttail relative. She had spent six weeks visiting our ranch during that summer, After leaving our place she had acquired a two week unlimited bus pass to go sightseeing across America. Just the night before, the evening of September 10th, she called that she had arrived in Washington, D.C. and was scheduled to fly back to London the following day. After she called and talked to me, I had phoned Dad to tell him that Laura was safe and sound and in Washington. This is why it surprised me that he was now worried. Since we were somewhat concerned while she was on the two week walk-about all by herself, it was perplexing that Dad was now "worried." I said, "Don't worry about Laura. She is in Washington and will fly back to England today."

Dad replied, "That's why I'm worried, because she is in Washington." I said, "What is going on in Washington?" Dad said, "Aren't you watching the news?" I stated, "No, I am horseback up in the west school section gathering cows and calves to precondition." He went on to tell me that both towers of the World Trade Center had been hit by jet airplanes, and it looked like America was under attack. The beautiful fall morning no longer seemed so beautiful. We proceeded to round up the approximately 100 cows with their calves and headed them towards home. My pocket phone rang again. It was John Wik who had been doing some carpentry for us. He said, “Are you watching the news?” As we were talking on the phone, he said, “Oh, the Pentagon has also just been hit.”

Peach had the bulls out of the way in the next pasture, so we continued on with the cattle. The next pasture at Wilson Lake was empty, so I told the riders, “Let’s just leave the cattle here, and go home to watch the news.” We arrived back at the ranch, and unsaddled our horses to go in to turn on the television. Before we could walk to the house, my pocket phone rang again. It was a trucker who was hauling creep feed into a pasture where we had two-year-old heifers and their calves. He declared that his truck was really stuck in some low ground along a meadow. So much for watching television—I had the hired hand go to his place to get one front-wheel-assist tractor, and I went to get our other front-wheel-assist tractor. The truck wasn’t just kind of stuck—it was really stuck. It sure took both tractors to get it pulled out so he could unload the feed into four creep feeders. Incidentally, this was my first and only time of feeding creep feed to calves while they still were sucking their mothers. The experiment proved to be a lot of hassle with very few benefits.

Our youngest son, better known as the Kosmo Kid, was a seventh grader at Cody-Kilgore Unified Schools and had a junior high football game scheduled to be played in Bassett, Nebraska for that Tuesday afternoon. Our daughter Sunflower was a sophomore, and she was to play volleyball in Valentine that evening. Even though the world had just turned completely upside down, sports must go on and the games were played as planned. Our hired hand had a doctor appointment that afternoon. Peach and I headed out to attend the ball games. We fueled up our 1997 Ford F350 in Valentine as we went through. There wasn’t much of a line at the time, and Midway Oil held their fuel prices the same as they had been. After the football game in Bassett (which our team lost), as we traveled west we noticed that there were long lines at all the gas stations and perhaps you could say a little price gouging was in effect. At some of the stations, gas and diesel were at least a dollar per gallon higher than it had been priced earlier in the day. The volleyball game didn’t turn out very wonderful for our team, either. We arrived home thinking that this day would always be one that we would remember. Laura’s dad did call that evening that Laura was fine, even though she would be stranded for several more days in Washington , D.C. before planes would once again be allowed to fly.

September 11, 2001 (better known as Nine Eleven) is a day that all Americans will always remember. We felt violated by the attack on our beloved country. Trust in our fellow man was shaken at the same time that trust in our fellow Americans was reaffirmed due to the many heroes that emerged. Things will never be the same again with additional security measures and extra scrutiny. This truly was the day that defined Innocence Lost. Our great country will prevail, but we must never ever let down our guard again. We must especially keep our wits about us when we vote.
 

Haytrucker

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We were between trucking jobs and I had agreed to help a good friend plant wheat about three days previous. As I left the house to head for the day's work I turned on the radio, to unusual news coverage. I called home and told my wife to turn on the TV, and she told me that they were talking about a plane crash in NYC. I had just pulled in by the tractor when she yelled "There's another one" after seeing the second plane hit. My bad gut feeling just got a bunch worse, and the majority of my thoughts for the day won't fit this forum, however I do remember an especially beautiful sunset that evening, as I left the field.
When I came back through town I witnessed the only "gas lines" I've ever seen, at the local station.
God Bless America, and if it is His will God Save Her...
 

tenbach79

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I had eye surgery after having a small piece of metal went through my eye.I had to stay inside out of the sun and lay flat on my face watched the whole thing all day which was hard trying to lay face down.
 

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