My Recollection of September 11, 2001.


James Paul Zaworski

Ten years ago, I was still married and living in southern Illinois.  I remember September 11, 2001 as a morning that dawned very bright and with a lovely blue sky; the evening before was the first cool evening for months.  My then wife rose first, to walk the dogs one by one.  I got up, about 9:15 central time, and brewed some coffee.  After a quick shower and a cuppa, the phone rang.  I blearily made my way to pick it up: it was my eldest brother, Bernie, calling me.  He told me "turn on the television".  I did.  I tuned in to ABC and there was live coverage of one of the two towers of the World Trade Centers on fire, with smoke billowing outward and upward.  As I watched and listened, I talked with my brother.  They recapped and played video of the jet airplane flying into the north tower.  At that point, it was still possible that this was an accident, some tragic malfunction that allowed the jet to accidentally crash.  Just after they replayed, the scene cut back to live.  As the announcer was recapping, I watched as a second jet crashed into the second tower!  My brother and I witnessed this on tv, he in Wisconsin and I in Illinois.  We both knew that this was no accident! 

I recall my brothers words, as he spoke of this event to me: "I can't believe this!  Oh my God!  If dad was alive, he would be fascinated by this, and I can't believe it!  This is War!"  He was right.  I responded with some expletives and words of agreement.  I had to let him go, and tell my wife, Monica.  I hung up the phone, ran out to tell her, and she came in.  She couldn't believe it too.

I tried to call my mother, but couldn't reach her.  I tried my brother again, but the same thing.  Too many people were calling each other across the United States, and the lines got tied up. 

So, we watched the live coverage and we both opted not to go to class that day, so riveted and so struck we were as Americans by these tragic events.

As the day progressed and we did go out, we learned about the other hijacking/suicide attacks on the Pentagon, and vague details about the one in Pennsylvania that crashed.  I recall the guy in the Hardee's drivethru in Carterville, Illinois telling us that he heard 'that jet was shot down by the Air Force'.  The rumor machine was well at work by then.

So, that is my 9-11 story.  I didn't know anyone that was killed on that day, but later worked with a guy whose sister had perished in the attacks.

As an aside, I remember going outside for the subsequent two weeks (we lived in rural southern Illinois east of Carbondale), and near a small airport.  We were also on the flight line from St. Louis to D. C. and were used to seeing jets and airplanes overhead as a routine.  However, all flights were grounded and I remember those few weeks following 9-11 as quiet, and peaceful in the skies; almost spooky.

--James Paul Zaworski
I returned to Shenzhen from my trip to the USA about the third week in August, tried to recover from the jet lag and time difference, prepare and teach some lessons to my students, and get ready to say good bye to Shenzhen, at least for now.
My girlfriend and I have been temporarily separated, I have been separated from my friends, and my home of the previous four years.  Why did I come to Macau?  Well, for a challenge, and a career opportunity to return to university teaching again.

I arrived about August 25th, and got set up: apartment, health check, work visa processing, meeting colleagues, the boss, material for my courses, general induction and orientation for new teachers, and my schedule.  I got phone access and internet access about September 1st, which was the first official day of my contract.

Today is September 5th, and I have just completed my first day of teaching two, two-hour classes to 25 and 37 students respectively.  I feel exhilarated!  I'm currently in a Japanese/Korean restaurant near my apartment complex, enjoying some incredible tuna and salmon sashimi, nice kimchi, and an Asahi beer.  

Today was a good day.
Zaworski, Richard W. DMD Age 54, of Joliet, passed away Friday, July 15, 2011. Born June 24, 1957 in Joliet, the son of Dr. Bernard E. and Marjorie R. (Huston) Zaworski. In addition to his mother, Richard is survived by his beloved sons, Edward, Gregory and Steven Zaworski; siblings, Dr. Bernard E. Zaworski, Suzanne K. (Robert) Weber, Phillip G. (Vicki) Zaworski, Thomas A. (Roberta Neil) Zaworski, Rebecca L. (Darrel Hoy) Zaworski and James P. Zaworski. Also dear uncle, John A. (Lauren) Witkowski; nieces, Rebecca Garcia, Christina Zaworski and Sarah Weber; nephews, Max Hoy, Raymond Weber, and Jason, Ian and Derrick Zaworski. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Regina M. and Mary K. Zaworski; maternal grandparents, George K. and Laura D. Huston; paternal grandparents, John and Regina Witkowski; and numerous cousins. Richard was a graduate of Holy Cross Grade School, Joliet Catholic High School, University of Idaho, and Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. He will be remembered for his great sense of humor, and his love of gardening, bowling and fishing. A memorial celebration of his life will take place at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, August 13, 2011 at American Legion Harwood Post #5, 705 S. Larkin Ave (Frontage Road), Joliet, IL 60435. Arrangements by: FRED C. DAMES FUNERAL HOME 3200 Black at Essington Rds., Joliet For information: (815) 741-5500
I have returned to the USA to visit family, and before I get ready to move on to a new job.  This time, I will be teaching at a university, and I am pretty stoked about it.

Details will come later.

Iin the mean time, here are some photos from home.

July 2, 1863 Little Roundtop, Gettysburg. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: "Fix bayonets!"....."Charge!" Result: Union saved.
Here is a picture from last week of a "big sun" sunny day in Shenzhen.
This cute little girl was as interested in me as I in her as I dined in a restaurant.

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Well, we did it!  It took three days, and eight separate trips to move from our apartment of three years to the new apartment.  Here is a photo of me toasting and eating between the seventh and eighths (final) move to the new place.  More photos will follow.