My husband and I lived in Key West. Please don't read paradise into this location or the dramatic actions that followed. It was anything but that in those moments of time.
I was at Billy's Restaurant and Bar. It was a local joint where we all hung out. Every working day I would meet my husband there. He worked on an island off Key West.... Sunset Key. It's a private island. I stayed on Key West while he took a skiff to work 6 days a week. Everyone went to Billy's and waited for the skiff to come back. Billy's was a rambunctious sort of lively place, normally. We all shared in laughter, stories, buckets of beer and long, hot, working days on the islands.
The boat ride between Key West and Sunset Key was about 5 minutes. On 9/11, I think time actually slowed down on Key West and sped up on Sunset Key.
I remember vividly someone at Billy's whistling. It was that strong, loud and piercing whistle... Like a guy has at a baseball game. Shaaww-eewww-uuuuu-weehip!
All of Billy's shut up.
Silence. No laughing. No dogs even moving. No beers popping or iced tea being poured. No nothing. I really don't think anybody took a breath.
All of us looked up at the T.V.'s above the bar.
The next moment Don was behind me. How he got from Sunset Key to Key West on that skiff that fast, I'll never know. He spun me around and said, " Hunney, the Twin Towers have been hit by 2 planes. We need to grab Chance and see what we can do to help the Coast Guard."
Even though we weren't able to help to coast guard or anybody in the Continental United States at that time, I'll never forget that moment or feeling. What happened? What happened to the people in the Towers? What happened? Why?
For that freak moment, I truly felt everything I was raised to know and believe in... Was taken away from everyone in the US of A.
I remember 9/11 very well in my heart and soul.