On the morning of 9/11/01 after breakfast my husband and I stopped by a beachwear store in Fernandina Beach, FL for last minute items to take with us for our week vacation on Cumberland Island, GA. The music on the radio in the store was interrupted by an announcement of a plane hitting the World Trade Center and my first thought was how on earth could that have happened and what in the world was going on.
It wasn’t long before we were back at our hotel room minutes before check out seeing the first live feeds of the horrific scene but still not knowing what was really going on in NYC after all we had a boat to catch to get to the Island and as the second plane hit we walked out the door to make our way to the marina. An uneasy feeling came over me and thoughts of family came to mind as I called home to tell my family I loved them as others did on that morning not knowing what would come next as the towers were buring and heroic efforts were underway to get thousands of people to saftey.
The 30 minute boat ride to Cumberland Island was both beautiful and sorrowful as seeing the images of burning towers surely meant many had been killed and injured as I prayed for peace and comfort for their families and mine. As we hiked to the rangers station we met others who had heard as many as 50,000 people might have been killed before they left all communication behind and came to the Island.
Not knowing what had happened for the next few days left us to wonder as we camped on the Island with no cell service, TV or radio only sporadic talk from strangers who didn’t know much about the “attack” on our country and who was responsible. The peaceful surroundings on the Island were almost comforting. After all we certainly wouldn’t be a target on the Island but the submarine base nearby was another story and it remained eerily dark at night and the lack of air traffic was another indication of just how serious the situation had been and we could only speculate on what might be next.
On the 5th day of our trip we had reserved rooms at the Greyfield Inn and learned more about the events that occured on 9/11 and in the days and weeks that followed learned about all the heroes that scarficed all to save many. This event changed their lives and ours forever as the relative saftey of our country had indeed been a target and remains one to this day. If not for those who serve to protect us more lives would be lost and on this and every day our heroes are remembered and we will ‘never’ forget.