How Did Sept. 11 Change Your Life?

Local resident, Elizabeth Marie, 44, remembers being new in town when the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 were broadcast.

Editor's Note: This week we remember those fallen in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Laguna Niguel Patch asked residents to share their personal stories about how they were affected by the event that changed America forever. We will share some of these stories this week, the 10th anniversary of that fateful day.

This second story is from resident, Elizabeth Marie, 44, told in her own words.

"As September 11 occurred in the first couple of weeks of the school year for us on the West Coast, our two children had just started a new school year at the local elementary school.

I was busy getting dressed that morning when my husband came quietly into our room to inform me that a plane had just flown into the World Trade Center. I didn't comprehend his words at first and asked him to repeat what he had just spoken.

The next hour as the horror of the situation grew, we faced a decision to make. Do we send the children to school, or do we keep them home? New York City feels very far away and being in Laguna Niguel, we didn't fear for their safety at school.

Maybe we were being naive, but we didn't feel threatened in our own little city. We decided the best course was for them to have a normal day as they were young enough not to process the gravity of the situation.

We had just purchased a new home, and I needed to buy a bed that day for family that would be arriving the next day. I went to the local mattress store after dropping the children off at school. I felt very guilty about carrying on my day as normal.

After purchasing the mattress, I drove to the local mall to buy bedding only to discover that our local mall was closed. That is when the East Coast met the West Coast for me so to speak. I called my husband at his office wondering if we had made the right decision sending our children to school. He reassured me, and I proceeded to a local bedding store.

The store was empty, but they were open. As I walked through the store, I was drawn to a quilt that was decorated with the American flag. It was unusual in its print and thought it would fit in well with the house. Yes, I said it was unusual. At the time, there wasn't too much merchandise that displayed our national colors. Little did I know when purchasing the bedding that everything American would be printed since then.

I did not at the time connect the events of that morning with my purchase of our flag on a quilt. It was still very early and the events of the day were too fresh. I still have it today, but has been retired to a cupboard.

I don't think I will be able to part with it anytime soon and maybe never.
After returning home I received a call from a friend who lived out of state. She said that our lives would never be the same. When she spoke those words, it hit me. I knew her comments to be true, but I just didn't know what the future held."


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