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By Rebecca Wallace

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About this blog: I grew up in Menlo Park and have long been involved with both local journalism and local theater. After starting my career as an editorial intern with The Almanac, I was a staff reporter for the Almanac and the San Mateo County Ti...  (More)

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Ad Libs: Ten years ago, ten years later

Uploaded: Sep 8, 2011
As I write about the 9/11 memorial events this weekend, I think about the Mozart Requiem concert happening Sunday in Stanford's Memorial Church and imagine how peaceful the air will be inside. I always feel a breath of Europe there; even thousands of miles apart, historic churches have that wonderful cool smell.

I was an ocean away when 9/11 happened, sitting in my flat in Budapest planning an English lesson. The phone rang, I turned on CNN, and everything was different.

How did life change for Americans living overseas? I can say only that a few days later I wrote a column about how life was for this Yankee. It was never published, but now, feeling safe again in warm Palo Alto, I share it with you.

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Comments

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Posted by Brit, a resident of ,
on Sep 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

Rebecca

Thanks for sharing your blog on the thoughts you had after 9/11. I was living here in Palo Alto at the time and as a Brit living in a foreign country that had just been attacked, I was struck by how similar my practical reactions were to yours.

As we awoke on that Tuesday morning, the world had changed and I felt so alone and far from my family and all that I considered "home". Technology was not the same as it is now and even contacting those at home in England was difficult - jammed phone lines and slow email as well as an 8 hour time difference added to the feeling of being stranded. I also wanted to buy things from home and find comfort in everyday things that were not easily available here. Endless cups of tea in china cups and saucers is something we English do very well in times of trouble!

Thank you for reminding me how I felt back then. I must admit, I had almost forgotten.


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Posted by American, a resident of ,
on Sep 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Rebecca,

Very nice column. Heartfelt.

I was here is Palo Alto, and I did not feel isolated. I felt emboldened. I wanted GWB to attack our attackers. He did. That made me feel very good. I will always be thankful to GWB.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Rebecca Wallace, a resident of ,
on Sep 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

Rebecca Wallace is a registered user.

Thank you for your comments. Looking back at my column certainly brought back memories for me as well. Brit, that's a good point about the time difference. It definitely added to the "stranded" feeling. I had a nine-hour time difference from home and remember it well. Cups of tea were warming and comforting for us, too!


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