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These oral accounts were recorded at the Living History program at Hampshire County Public Library during the 2003 Hampshire Heritage Days. The participants were: Maurice Whipp, age 85, Sally Taylor Turner, age 86, and Edgar "Shorty" Lorain Grapes, age 89.

 

Maurice:

On September the 11th, I was still living over at the motel then and I heard it on television there, there's where I first heard about it. And I remember seeing the airplane flying, we weren't sure right away, it flew into the buildings.

The thing that was interesting, not that I wasn't sorry about all of it, but the place where the plane hit down out in PA, I had just been there two days before that in that very area. And I hear this man talking on television that "It's a shame that the government or the people didn't know terrorism from tourism."

I can't buy that. I can't buy that. They didn't know this was coming.

I think we live with terrorism every day. Honest to goodness, we've got to watch out for this and watch out for that. I think a lot of this we're in they should take some of those people and do like they did to Crabtree-hang him up on a limb. Maybe that's not a nice thing to say but I think it's a shame that some of this terrorism and this threatening that people do to our country I don't think so much of it-like the song-"When You Talk about My Country". I only play it on side B.

Sally, you going to say anything about it?

 

Sally:

Well, I will never forget it. It's like the day the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor. I remember that day in detail-what we were doing that day. We were all at my mother's listening to the radio. We didn't have a radio at home. And they announced that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I didn't even know what Pearl Harbor was.

And when September 11 happened, my son hauls--drives a truck into New York City three or four times a week. And he was coming back across out of the city on the George Washington Bridge.

I was in bed sound asleep. He called that another truck driver on the CB called into him and said, "Turn your radio on they're bombing New York."

Ken said he turned around and looked back over his shoulder just as the plane hit the second building.

He said, "Needless to say, I started calling." He has a cell phone. He called his wife. They live in Delaware.

Then he called me. "Mother, Mother !"

I said, "I'm still in bed. What do you want?"

He said, "They're bombing New York City!"

Well, I got up, didn't even dress that day, wore my pajama's and robe the whole day and never turned the television off.

I think I sat up all night. And I will never ever forget it like I will never forget Pearl Harbor. Because I had a brother that was a senior in high school that year and another brother, older brother that was married and had two children. I thought, "Oh well, it won't affect us. Ken's too young. Ike's too old and Wes will be the only one that will have to go."

I lost two of those brothers in World War II. And I pray that our boys will not enlist like they did then -have to go. And I also pray that we will not be invaded.

 

Shorty:
I want to say something about that. I was out in the garden when I heard that and of course we watched it all day to see how bad it really was and it was terrible.

I hope it doesn't happen again but it could. That's all that you hear. People -- our borders are too open so people will get into here. They're bragging they're going to bring us down. They might do it if they keep on.

(Maurice: I don't think so..)

We gave the Panama Canal away. They can bomb any city in the U.S. from there and our own government, some of them don't seem concerned over it at all. I think the people ought to rise up, raise up and tell them that we want some action on this deal.

 

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