As Chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee I have traveled all over the country! On September 11, 2001 I left the airport in Louisville, Ky for New York City. It was a very early flight to go to New York to judge applications for agriculture grants for Altria. I decided to go early that day and do some sightseeing before our meeting would start later that same day. It was a beautiful morning and our pilot even pointed out the New York skyline and the World Trade Towers as we approached LaGuardia Airport.
After retreiving my bag, a driver from Altria was waiting to take me into Manhattan to the hotel. Morning traffic was heavy and slow going. As we topped a hill we could see lots of smoke coming from one of the Twin Towers and the driver turned the radio on and we were listening to the terrible news of a plane hitting the building. As we continued into toward Manhattan the second plane hit and by then we knew we were being attacked! I was able to get into my room at the hotel and then started trying to reach my family at home. I was finally able to let them all know I was ok around 11:30-12:00.
One of the Altria employees and another couple, who were there to judge, and I all hung around and tried to figure out ways to get back home to be with our families. We lined up to give blood and eventually found there was no need and walked around a very deserted and eerily quiet New York City.
On Friday of that week I boarded a train to Chicago and after 3 exhausting days and 2 nights on the train I arrived in Jeffersonville, IN, right acros the river from Louisville, KY. My daughter and son-in-law met me at the station, took me to the hotel, where I left my car and we headed home at last!
It was such a horrible and sad time for our country, and so very hard to be away from my family. I was so thankful to be safe and my family safe, as I watched the terrible reports on tv every day and prayed for all who had lost so much. I was so proud of our country and so proud of the courage, bravery and honor I saw everywhere I looked!
One of the most touching and beautiful things I witnessed was in Grand Central Station. A group of firefighters came through the station and everyone in the area stood and cheered and clapped for those brave men!
We need to never take our great country for granted! Even with all of the faults, it is the most amazing place in the world! I am so thankful to be able to raise our family and farm in this little piece of heaven we call Kentucky!