Email About my 9/11 Experience (Not a Poem)

On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 10:26 PM, <> wrote:

With  the 10th anniversary of 9/11 coming, I thought i would share my story that also has been published  in a Lockheed Martin web-site. I know it is not as dramatic as some stories, but it is mine. By thebway, if you are interested it was posted  on the following site under “People”. This site is the documented history of the Eagan site that Lockheed Martin is so blythly shutting down without regard to the legecy.The site is linked to the Minnesota Historical Society.
Here the story is.

 4.5 Thomas G. Reischel – Sr. Staff Analyst, Sourcing Administration of Lockheed Martin MS2

{Editor’s note: Added to the web site on 8/21/2011}



I am forevermore impacted by the events that occurred on 9/11/2001. First of all 9/11 is my birthday. Since that day, my birthday has never been the same. Also, whenever I present my driver’s license or fill out a form requiring that date, I always get a comment. So I take, and I took, this event personally. However, beyond that, I was in New Jersey that day traveling on company assignment. Lockheed Martin had just put Eagan under the common purchasing group located in Moorestown, New Jersey called the Northern Material Acquisition Center (NMAC). They were assigned to buy all components and commercial parts for all of MS2. At that time, MS2 consisted of 9 separate sites. However, we were not on a common purchasing system yet, so the plan was that Eagan’s requisitions would be transferred to Moorestown, and their Buyers would place the Purchase Order (PO) on our P1100 System. So, I was sent to Moorestown to train their Buyers how to input POs on P1100. Since this event was larger than me personally, I was there on my birthday along with Scott McLagan to do 2 days of training. We arrived there on Monday evening 9/10.



On the morning of 9/11, I was in a conference room with about 20 buyers. We had a TV set to use for an Audio-Visio presentation as part of the training. I believe it was an overview of the Eagan products and Programs to orient the Buyers on the things they would be buying. At the time the 1stplane hit the World Trade Center, I was making a presentation using an overhead projector, and using a laser pointer to highlight my presentation when the door slammed open and I was rudely interrupted by a person who grabbed the TV set. I started to protest – “Hey Buddy, I’m giving a presentation here and need that!” He just blurted: “A plane just flew into the World trade center”. As I just stood there with a dumbfound “What!” on my lips, the room emptied along with the TV set.



Out in the main office, the TV had no rabbit ears, so no one could get a picture. Finally, a local Engineer had a spool of copper wire in his desk. Don’t all Engineers have that? He hooked the wire up to the back of the TV and strung the wire out an open window creating AN ANTENNA. None of us ‘Sourcing’ people would have thought of that. The TV finally focused in just in time for us to watch the second plane hit the tower. When the first plane hit, we thought it was some sort of major tragic accident. After, the second plane, there was no doubt that it was a terrorist attack. This was New Jersey. Some of the people in that office had family and friends IN THE TOWERS. So immediately everyone got on the phone. There was shock, horror, and despair everywhere you looked. Scott and I called home and in to work to let everyone know where we were and that we were OK. We heard that Les Bruchal and Paul Roselle were diverted into Canada. Lockheed was trying to get a hold of everyone on travel status. Since Jersey is just across the river from New York, the next thing that happened was everyone piled into their cars and drove over to a nearby park where the New York skyline could be seen. From there we could see the Statue of Liberty, and beyond it the smoking towers. There were tears, cursing and “OH my Gods” from everyone present.



The next thing to happen was that several people headed for New York only to be turned back because the bridges and tunnels into NYC were shut down. People were milling around in shock and didn’t know what to do. Management decided to get people back into the class room since there was no communication or transportation possible, so it might help them to settle down and get their minds off the tragedy for a while. So we got everyone we could find back into the classroom, but after a while it was obvious that nobody, including me, could focus on anything else, so we broke up the training and cancelled the sessions for a future date. Scott and I went back to our rooms and tried to book a flight out only to find out that all flights had been grounded. So we watched CNN the rest of the day.



On Wednesday the planes were still not flying. We went into the office and hung around with the locals. We heard all kinds to tragic stories. Several people were still trying to find their friends or relatives. Many were angry, but couldn’t do anything about it. People wanted to go in to New York, but still couldn’t. I told Scott that if the planes weren’t flying Thursday morning, be ready to check out and drive home. So, on Thursday, we took off. We didn’t call Avis, we just got in the rental car and started driving. We figured we would drop the car off in Minneapolis. That drive took us 22 hours straight through. I drove the whole way. Air traffic was still grounded, so the roads were bumper to bumper and slow moving. Never saw so many semi trucks on the road. Everyone was driving. We got into Minnesota at 5 AM, having left New Jersey at 7AM the previous day. I dropped off Scott, took the rental car home, kissed and hugged my wife, then went over to my bed and passed out.



The next morning was Friday. After a couple of hours sleep, I dropped off the rental car. Avis didn’t even ask, just processed the bill. It must have been an off Friday, because, in any case, I didn’t go in to work. My wife told me that they were holding a special Mass down at the Cathedral of St. Paul for the victims of the terrorist attacks and that the Archbishop was presiding. You bet we went! He gave an eloquent sermon, but what I remember the most was when we said the Our Father. When we got to the part “AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESSPASS AGAINST US”, there were tears streaming down my face and I choked on the words.


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Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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