Keeping life in perspective ~ My look back at 9-11-01 / by JD Andrews


We all have it, the memorey of that moment, where we were and what we were doing on that Tuesday morning. Everyone has their story to tell about that day, some are truly heart-wrenching while others are uplifting and even inspirational...mine is none of those. I'm writing this for me, I need to simply get it out. As you will soon gather, I am not a writer, I am a visual story teller so please forgive the crudness of this post.

 Front Page, The Examiner - Sept. 12 2001

Sept. 11, 2001- Bora Bora, Tahiti. There could be worse places to be...I was working onboard Renissance Cruises ship the R4 as Video manager.

Waking up to a PA announcement from the Captain, he was Greek and had a serious accent, it was very hard to understand what he was saying. I made out bit and pieces, New York, planes, terrorists...What? I was still a little sluggish from drowning my sorrows due to a Broncos loss on Monday Night Football but sobered up very quickly.

Tahiti is six hours behind NY, so watching CCN was like playing catch-up. We are under attack, what planes, how many dead, the Twin Towers are gone...WHAT!! I ran to my office to get on the internet to get more info. (not many crew had access back then) searching for anything to explain what was going on, it felt like a bad dream.

To be so far away from home with this disaster going on was unbearable. I called my family ($20 a minute from the ship, I didn't care) no, they didn't live in NY but I had to hear their voices and make sure all was ok. They tried to explain to me what happened but it was so hard to grasp the enormity of the whole thing....

The world changed that day, my world for sure. The cruise line went bankrupt a few weeks later and I was stuck on the ship for another three weeks trying to get home...Like I said, my story is NOTHING, it's simply mine.

This weekend watching the coverage and hearing all the stories, it brings me right back as I'm sure it does for you too. The feeling of helplessness, it's still there but we keep going. The hard part is keeping life in perspective, what realy is important? That's what I need to work on and be constantly reminded of. It's too easy to let the ridiculousness of everyday life cloud what's important...

All I can do is hug my wife and daughter,  call my family and make sure they ALL know I love them, they are what is important to me.

Today is all we have, make a friend, make amends, make a difference, make it count!