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Never Forget
Sept. 11 Memories

Never Forget

From the Series: Napa County residents share their Sept. 11 memories and reflections series
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In this image taken from video, one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York collapses in this image made from television, Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001. Planes crashed into the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers minutes apart Tuesday. (AP Photo/ABC)

At dawn we said goodbye to our Maine hosts, headed to Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy, Peggy's Cove, and overnight in Halifax.

Nearing our destination, we were diverted around the city by police and found a motel on the outskirt. No cars; we were in luck!

The teary-eyed owner approached with a forced smile. “No Vacancy" she advised. Shaking our heads in disbelief, she quickly added, "You’ve not heard?" Heard what?

Gesturing we follow her, there on a television screen, we witnessed the unfolding horror.

Airports closed, planes grounded. Borders closed. Our return ticket, useless. The decision to drive home with New York plates came reluctantly

Throughout, Canadians were kind, expressing condolences, flying the Stars and Stripes.

We crossed with ease over the border at a remote town in the upper Midwest, the sole vehicle. The guard appeared happy to have some business.

Back home!

A stop at Mt. Rushmore tugged at the heartstrings. Along the marble pillars representing each state, coming to New York, bouquets were left by strangers with loving messages.

In Nevada, Black Angels roared past, Old Glory flying. In California, such was not the case. Stopping, we inquired of a merchant, why? The reply — it was a New York thing — shocked in disbelief, leaving our purchases behind, we headed home. He was not alone. We saw few if any degree of patriotism and were ashamed of our fellow Californians.

That night we gave thanks for those who would never return.

Renee Morley


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