On Monday, Sept. 10, 2001, my wife, Rosemary, and I were returning to Pullman after a weekend family reunion in Iowa. We were traveling in our Beechcraft Bonanza and elected to remain overnight in Lewistown, Mont., after stopping for fuel. Flying weather was excellent for the completion of our flight to Pullman the next day.
We awoke on the morning of the 11th to the shocking depiction of the first tower in flames. Shortly thereafter we saw the strike on the second tower.
Realizing that a serious international incident had taken place and that attacks on America might continue, our immediate goal was to depart Lewistown quickly, for the safety of our Whitman County home. I was confident we could fly through the mountains to Pullman, undetected by radar and without otherwise disturbing the air traffic control (ATC) system. However, movement of our aircraft was blocked. When I asked the man in front of our airplane, “Who might you be?” He responded, “I might be the Lewistown airport manager.”
Having previously been stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base, we rented a car and spent the next few days in Great Falls, Mont. The ATC system would open briefly from time to time, and we would return to Lewistown in unsuccessful efforts to get airborne.
We ultimately reached Pullman on Friday evening, Sept. 14, using mandated instrument flight procedures. This caused a Horizon Dash 8 to have to hold west of Pullman for our little airplane to radio, “on the ground.”
— Carleton B. Waldrop, Clarkston
On Sept. 11, 2001, I was a student in my first semester studying journalism and mass communication as a sophomore at the University of Idaho in Moscow.
My new boyfriend was in the Air Force ROTC program at the UI. We had a meeting with a church pastor as a new couple and he said that was the only topic anyone could talk about. I can’t say I understood at first what the big deal was about the attack on New York. I had never yet lived outside of Latah County at that point.
The new boyfriend and I had a good talk about whether he would get deployed to fight in the war. He continued his career in the USAF even after we divorced. My newspaper career lasted 13 years and I experienced how cities and small towns across the U.S. do creative walks or displays to honor those who were lost that day.
I remember where I was that day and today I understand and appreciate much more about everyone connected to people lost in all the different locations and manners.