i was running a crew lifting a house in charlton city, mass. i had sent a helper out for “coffee and” and was wondering what was taking him so long when i realized that none of my crew was under the house working, where they belonged. i came around to the front and found them all by the door of the truck the helper was driving , listening to the radio, and immediately started yelling “hey i didn’t call break yet; what the f#*k is this s^@t?” it took some doing, but they finally got me to listen as they explained the twin towers had just been hit. we all stood there in a sort of shock at this news and no work got done till roughly an hour later when i realized we all needed to take our minds off the event that had just taken place, and sent everyone back to their jobs. it was a very somber few hours after that as we were all extremely patriotic, and most of us were former military. i ended up calling an early day due to not knowing what exactly would happen next, and we all wanted to be prepared for any event that might unfold. back at the campsite (we hated hotels/motels when on the road) we followed the news closely as we got ready as best we could for an eventuality that may or may not have been coming.
the next day was not much easier at work for any of us. the crew did the best they could while dealing with the feelings of grief and anger we all shared as i built a mount in the back of my company truck for the flag that we raised and saluted every morning and lowered to taps every evening at our campsite. my boss showed up while i was doing this (he had been in ct. on another job on the 11th) and asked me what i was doing, so i told him, he said nothing, but watched me for a while with a look of pride and sadness that i can’t exactly describe. after watching me, he went to see how the crew was making out and realized that we were all in too much of a state to be really productive and came back out to me and told me that i could call the day whenever i wanted, and he would pay us all for the full day.
unknown to me, when he left the job, the boss tried to offer our services for free at ground zero, being we were one of the best structural shoring outfits in ct. he was turned down because we were not a union outfit. when we found this out we were all livid; we would gladly have all went, unpaid, to help out.
the next few weeks were hard on all of us; but we knew we had to keep on keeping on or we’d lose our minds over the whole ordeal; which we did from time to time anyway.
so; that’s my story of where i was 10 years ago today. it still hurts thinking about having our help refused just because we weren’t union. almost as bad as it hurts remembering all who died that day, and since, due to the actions of whatever entity caused this tragedy.