Who doesn’t remember where they were 17 years ago this morning? I’m watching the memorials on TV and remembering that Country Threads was beginning camp that day and our quilters that left from Logan Airport near Boston had to land in Detroit and drive to the farm. Some of those gals are reading this blog today.

I also just watched the ceremony from the field in Pennsylvania where the plane went down. One of those brave men who said “Let’s roll!” was Roy Tesene’s cousin Tom Burnett.

Think of all the families who lost a parent that day.

Stop and say a little prayer for them. Thank you.

More later on a happier note.

37 thoughts on “9/11

  1. Amy M

    We were three of the quilters on our way from Kansas city to camp that morning. I had picked up one and we were clacking like chickens on the way to pick up our third friend so we didn’t have the radio on in the car. When we got to her house she told us to come in and look at the TV. She asked if we thought we should still go to camp. In my take charge voice, “Heck yes we are safer in Iowa!” really meaining I would rather die sewing than watching TV in my living room. We drove to Des Moines and listened to the radio. I was convinced 50,000 people had to have been killed. By Des Moines, we couldn’t take it anymore and turned off the radio. Pulling into Garner was like maybe the world was ok after all. Walking into the shop and seeing everyone was the best feeling of the day! The second morning it was so good to see the gals from Boston arrive but also the feeling of the reality of “what if”. The news of Roy’s cousin brought it back that it can hit anyone, anywhere. It was a bittersweet camp. I’m grateful I was there and didn’t spend the week watching a TV or listening to the news. Everytime we walked into the shop we got an update. To my two camp friends that didn’t make it because their plane had not taken off that day, you missed a week of camp but we’ve made up for it since and had 18 years of sewing together I wouldn’t give up for anything ! Thank you to Country Threads for being the calm in the storm that week for us! And thank you to all the Patriots who served that day and every day.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Amy M – what a profound statement you have made! Like I said to the other gals who wrote, how could we sew? As with the rest of you, I will never forget that day! When we closed class for the night very late, I spent hours watching the news on TV because I, like all of you, could not believe my eyes. Hearing it on the radio must have been surreal without any pictures – when I think of that day and all of you coming to camp, yes, without Christy and Marian, I cannot believe we carried on but we had to, didn’t we? I wonder why we didn’t all go into the house and watch tv. Oh my, what memories we all have!

    2. Renee

      Amy, I vividly remember that morning and our drive to Country Threads for camp. The unity of quilting for a week was special for all who attended camp while the Country dealt with this horrific tragedy. God Bless America! 🇺🇸

    3. Christie

      Thanks Amy. Love our friendship has survived and thrived these last 17 years. I still remember Marion insisting we could get on a plane and come to camp if the airlines were flying. Needless to say we did not make camp that year. Prayers to all who were affected in one way or another.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Christie – I will never forget the story about Marion frantically looking for her child and she was holding him! It makes my heart so happy that you and the KC girls have formed such a lasting friendship!

  2. Carol B

    Mary, I have so many memories from that day. Once I heard, I called to see if camp was cancelled. I was told camp would go on as planned for all of those who could get there. Little did I know there were quilters flying out of Boston. If I remember correctly their flight took off immediately after one of the doomed planes. I know Country Threads fielded calls from the quilter’s love ones wondering if they had arrived.
    Once the quilters arrived, we listened as they shared their experience of being put down In Detroit and not
    knowing why. Who would think that small town Iowa had a link to this horrific tragedy? Driving back to
    the motel that night, I had my first experience with long lines of cars waiting to get gas. It made it all so real!
    My 9/11 memories will forever be linked to Country Threads.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol B – thank you for writing – as I said to Michelle – how did we manage to sew anything? We were all so worried and at that time we had no idea of the extent of the tragedy. I,too,will always remember camp connected to 9/11.

  3. Michelle King

    Yes, I remember that day. I was one of the girls from Boston. We landed in Saginaw, Michigan, rented a van and drove to 12 hours to Garner. We could not reach our families until later in the day. We told them we decided to continue on to Country Threads for camp. I was happy to be at Camp but I was also worried about my family at home. They were worried about me but I told them that I would be safer in Iowa and would return home on Sunday. When I got home, each and everyone of them hugged me and would not let go (they were teens at the time). It was a strange week but I am glad I went. Of course I went back to Country Threads after that – I just loved camp. I miss going to the Barn! Since then, all 3 of my children have gotten married and I am blessed with 5 Grandsons!!
    Peace and Love to all – God Bless America!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Michelle King – I am so glad you wrote and I loved hearing that you now have grandsons! I remember how worried you all were and I didn’t blame you – I was worried, too. How did we sew? Oh my!

  4. Susan Dietz

    We will never forget that horrible day when so many showed such great courage and love for their neighbor. A time of overwhelming sadness and yet great pride in so many.

  5. Joyce C

    I worked for Relay at the time in Sioux Falls SD. Relay was the phone service for the hearing and speech impaired. I sat all day relaying calls from the east coast and NY. Families trying to get through to their loved ones. Families whose loved one didn’t show up to pick their car up at the train station… families whose loved ones phones just rang and rang…. on break I would go into the restroom and sob….

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Joyce C – I got goosebumps reading your comment! I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Relay. Do you still work for them?

      1. Joyce C

        No I don’t… they closed this call center after the cell phones became an easy way to communicate. Several are still open.. it’s the 711 tty number nationwide.

  6. Arrowhead Gramma

    A day of memories and remembrance. Prayers to the families of those who lost their lives. God Bless America. ❤️🇺🇸❤️

  7. Diane

    Oh yes. I was with our daughter and 8 day old grand daughter. As our daughter said, it started out as the best day with the 3 generations together and also became a worst day. We met a man in DC who lived just two blocks from the Pentagon. His whole street helped the people from the Pentagon by setting up food all along their street for them to eat, letting them use their land lines, and even driving some of them home. That shows how America works.
    My mom was so worried about our son because he lives just 5 minutes from the Cleveland airport where Flight 93 was headed. If you’ve never been to PA to the place where Flight 93 went down, it is well worth the trip. The first time we went it was just a chain link fence, now it is a beautiful solemn memorial to all of those brave people including Roy’s cousin. We had relatives traveling in France and Scotland and they said how kind, helpful, and compassionate everyone was to them. Yes, God Bless all Americans.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane – have only seen Shanksville on tv but it’s heartwarming to know there’s a memorial there! You’re right – that’s how America works!

  8. Susan Sundermeyer

    I live close to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH. We heard a terrific boom after the bombings and thought the base was under attack. Only hours later did we learn that base sent out jets and those booms were sonic booms. It was terrifying.

  9. Karen Gaither

    I was on my way to Country Threads Camp! I was outside in parking lot of Des Moines Courtyard Hotel exercising and came back in to find it in TV. So weird the emotions the rest of way to Garner. We stopped in a couple of Quilt shops that had TV’s on and to get there and find out Connie had a family member that was a hero that lost his life. I will never forget that camp!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen Gaither – we will never forget either! Like I told Joanne, that camp and that day will always connect us, won’t it? Did we actually sew something or just sit and worry?

  10. Kathy

    Our daughter was flying that morning to NYC, leaving Rochester airport shortly after 8 am so you can imagine the fear a mother has not knowing if it was her child’s plane that went down. I only wish to this day I could thank the pilot of her plane who turned around and landed it back in Rochester when he saw the smoke and hearing what the flight towers were saying. He brought us
    back our daughter. We attend services tonight in our community and say prayers for first responders and all who lost their life’s that horrible day never knowing they will always be remembered.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy – oh my, another great story from 9/11,a pilot who did the right thing and probably saved his passengers!

  11. Joanne

    I was one of the quilters that left from Boston. thank God my daughter in law Bridget worked for American Express we got the last vehicle to rent. No idea what had happened until we landed in Saganow ? Michigan. THankful we were traveling on to the middle of the country and to Quilt camp with lots of animals to pat and enjoy. Coming home was emotional I actually got down on my hands and knees and kissed the ground. Prayers for all the victims, police, firefighters, nurses, doctors and on and on.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Joanne – and we’re so glad you came! That day in history will always connect us!

  12. Amy M

    I am not a big reader and I apologize if Mary has posted this book on the blog before but today it might bear repeating. If you get a chance, please read The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede.
    It is a short book of true stories of passengers and crew of 38 jets that landed in Newfoundland Canada and were there while flights were grounded that week. It is a very interesting perspective of the day and week that I hadn’t seen in any documentary or news article. A lot was explained about how the pilots were given choices about what to do in some circumstances and shows the goodness and kindness of people. It does your heart good!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Amy M – thank you! No, I have not posted anything about this – I’m going to check for this at my library.

      1. Kathy

        I also will go look for this book as well. If the pilot of our daughters plane had not turned around to come back to Rochester, she would have spent a week in Newfoundland and being a protective momma, we would have jumped in the car and driven to her. The airport was already closed when their plane came back and they couldn’t grab luggage but had to get out. She just had an overnight bag so had it with her. She has never flown again, changed jobs and lost coworkers in the twin towers they were to meet with. Thank you for sharing this book for me to read.

  13. NK

    Thirty-three years ago this morning my world changed. My Dad called for me to take him to follow the ambulance to the hospital. My Mom had collapsed at the foot of the stairs. I packed up our nine month old daughter and headed out. We waited a bit and then the DR came to tell us she did not survive. Calling my five older siblings was so hard. That little nine month old got passed around because everyone needed to hold her. And now the past 17 years I relate just a little to those who lost loved ones because it’s hard when you didn’t say goodbye.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      NK – how tragic! I am so sorry and you still mark the day like it was just last year. My sympathies.

  14. Moe Baly

    The days following 9/11 was my guild quilt show. We all decided to go on with the quilt show. We set up a memorial at the show and we were comforted by all of our quilting friends. The following week I went on a quilt retreat. Again we thought, should we cancel. No we did not. We set up a patriotic memorial and again we quilting friends comforted each other as we wondered what our future would be like. Between working and the quilt activities I did not watch much on tv. At the time I was wishing I wasn’t so busy so I could watch. It was later I realized people were watching too much of the tv and becoming depressed including my dear sweet mothrt-in-law who never came out of it. I’m grateful I had my sisters and my quilting friends around me at this time of crises in our nation. Bless those who suffered the unimaginable and the families who suffered directly. Roy’s cousin was a hero. The story of the CT quilt retreat is wonderful, Connie and Mary offered comfort and safety like a quilt offers.

  15. Pat Smith

    Thank you to everyone who wrote so hauntingly about the terrible event of 9/11. I’m glad that those on the way to quilt camp continued on and lent each other so much support. I Live in a small town in Vermont, and we are only about a 6 hour drive from New York City. Many first responders and others who suffered such trauma from the attack came here for R&R afterwards. The local resorts helped provide them with the break from the city and the awful tragedy that they so needed. I won’t ever forget the many acts of kindness that this little town showed to so many.

  16. Rebecca Haines

    It’s a good thing to dwell on, so we never forget. Bless all the families and friends who lost someone and prayers to all who are still suffering from all the terrible after effects, just trying to help.

  17. Lisa Kogan (Hunder)

    I, too, was a camper at Country Threads on 9/11. I’ll never forget Holly Peters calling me that morning and wondering if we should still go to camp. It was just an instinct to hunker down and stay home. But once we got over the initial shock, we felt compelled to do something we loved, in a place we loved. So off to Country Threads we drove (not far from our Twin Cities home in Minnesota.
    I’ll never forget the Boston Girls and I met Mary Harwood that weekend, who became a dear friend.
    I’ve never felt closer to a room full of people than on that fateful weekend.
    I love you all and think of you often. Holly now lives in Alaska but we talk every 9/11 and hug by phone.

    (I do remember quilting at camp that weekend, it gave us a break from the intense emotions of the times.)

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