Pat Jolicoeur’s 9/11 Memory

Just as when JFK was killed I’m sure anyone of age you ask could tell you exactly where they were that fateful day. On September 10th I had traveled to Denver from my home in Massachusetts the night before and what stood out to begin this whole week was that when I flew out from Connecticut’s Hartford Airport, On that flight I was SEATED next to an Air National Guardsman who just happened to also be a recruiter and being an eight year USAF veteran myself we struck up a nice conversation which helped pass the time and at the end of the flight he had giving me his business card. The next morning waking up at the hotel in Denver just before our annual one week sales meeting was about to begin. I was watching the Today show when all hell broke loose and like all my colleagues from around the country needless to say the sales meeting was a bust as we all basically just hung around the TV all week watching as this horrific ordeal unfolded. Having lived in Denver some years ago it was a very eerie site to go outside that week and look up at this big blue beautiful sky and not see one contrail from a high flying jetliner. I don’t believe there was ever another time in my life I needed and wanted to be with my family back home in Massachusetts as this feeling of helplessness was unbelievable. All anyone could do was hope and pray for the first responders, victims and possible survivors of this horrible act of terrorism on our country.

When I was finally able to get back home at week’s end once the airports had all opened up is was as if I had been gone a year, it was good to see and hug my family again. A few months later my youngest son who had wanted to be a fire Fighter for some time just as his Grandfather had been for forty years. He seems to have been motivated by the fire fighters at ground zero to kick his future into high gear but was not having much luck getting into a department . To make a long story a little shorter, He ask me what I thought he could do to make his dream happen. Funny enough I still had that Air Guardsman’s business card so I handed it to him, Today my son Andrew has been a USAir guard fire fighter for 8 plus years as well as a civilian firefighter at the same airport. As horrific an events as 9/11 was, out of that tragedy I have to believe it also motivated people from all walks of life from all over the world from being victims of such acts of violence to become very positive/strong role models for future generations.

Pat Jolicoeur
Easthampton, MA