Bakersfield, California 2021-09-10 23:45:00 –
The world changed in the terrible flash of the day.
Lisa Kimble Edmundston was at home with a toddler when unimaginable things became a reality. Two hijacked airliners were deliberately flown to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the third crashed into the Department of Defense and the fourth landed in the lonely countryside of Pennsylvania. Within an hour of learning, she realized she was competing for “our children’s school to take their children home.”
Cherylanne Farley worked for Borders Books at the time of the attack. She could only think of an employee at the Borders Store at the 5 World Trade Center near what became known as Ground Zero.
“Did they all disappear?” She wondered.
KUZZ morning DJ Sylvia Caliker, broadcast as Casey McBride, remembers “answering hundreds of calls from listeners asking what happened.”
“We were broadcasting a non-stop news report, so we couldn’t play dozens of requests for Lee Greenwood’s” God Bless the USA. ” “
It was September 11, 2001, and America had the deadliest terrorist attacks in its history, hellish horror, and nightmares witnessed by hundreds of millions of people through television screens around the world. I just experienced it.
“Today our country saw evil,” President George W. Bush said in a speech to the country that same night.
A four-pillar terrorist attack in Kern as federal officials landed an airplane and ordered two airliners to make an emergency landing at Meadows Field in Bakersfield, despite the fact that it occurred about 3,000 miles away. Immediately affected the county.
The attack also affected Amtrak’s services when authorities ordered all trains to be stopped so that they could conduct an investigation.
The terminal at Medesfield Airport was evacuated at 10:30 am and the entire airport received special security alerts as part of a national order involving all airports. According to James Savery, an air traffic controller at Meadows at the time, commercial and private aircraft were not allowed anywhere in the country. He said the California sky was under the “security code delta.”
Just hours after the news of the attack began, Jennifer Mills, a student at Bakersfield College, sat in a history class in the United States and realized that history was made that day.
On September 11, she will learn about the calamity and discuss the consequences, as well as the memories of those who lived to witness it, like the attack on Pearl Harbor, as well as those who were still born.
“This is what’s called a turning point and it’s one of the unforgettable times,” Mills wrote in the California Express section.
“The terrorist attack that killed thousands of people on Tuesday is the biggest event in my 17 years of life,” she writes. “It’s the moment my generation remembers for the rest of our lives.”
Bakersfield police officer Stephen Humphreys has recently been promoted to detective.
“I didn’t want the hassle of requalifying, so I was going to submit a patrol rifle that day,” he recalled. “I didn’t know what was coming next, so I kept the rifle for another five years. It was a strange time.”
“I worked on a courier,” recalled Brenda Jones on that fateful day. “I couldn’t stop regularly, including at the airport, at the end of the day. I was crying between stops all day long.”
Two days after the tragedy, the Californians posted a full-color, full-page American flag in the newspaper, cut it out and taped it to their front window at home, demonstrating an unprecedented level of American solidarity. .. I saw it, it was visible for a long time.
In the weeks that followed, newspaper flags were found in front door windows and taped to classrooms, kitchens, office cubicles, and convenience stores.
Daniel Davenport was working at the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at the time.
“The most noticeable thing to me was all the flags that appeared instantly,” she recalled. “In every house and every car. We really stood together as if one country was united.”
Michael Kennedy, principal of the Bethel Christian School, recalled closing the day with a short rally to inform students that the United States was being attacked.
“We also assured our students that their parents and guardians were on their way back to school to take them home,” he said.
“As the principal, I took the time to pray with the students. We prayed for our country and all involved.”
A few days later, Californians reported that a kindergarten child in a classroom built a tower by stacking wooden blocks and knocked them down with a toy plane in a perfectly appropriate way to respond to the surrounding crisis.
Local law enforcement agencies increased vigilance on the day of the attack and patrol government buildings and airports throughout the county. No additional police officers were stationed on the street, but regular patrols from the Bakersfield Police Station and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office were on the lookout for potential targets.
Karl Sparks, then sheriff, heard his first report on his car radio that morning while he was driving to work.
“I thought it was a bad joke,” he recalled 20 years later. “I called home and talked to my wife Linda. She told me that was true.”
On the day of the attack, two young men with angry faces began screaming obscenely at Bakersfield’s longtime peasant Nazar Cooner.
As a member of the local Sikh community, Kue Na wore a turban in public. This is a religious tradition that Sikh men have maintained for centuries. However, the men were emotionally responsive to the terrorist attack that morning.
“The media is showing a picture of Osama bin Laden with a turban and a beard, and Sikhs are mistaken for terrorist militants,” Kue Na told the Californians.
The two men parked at a remote location on Highway 166, where Kue Na was taking care of the vineyards.
“I didn’t see them, I acted as if I didn’t hear them. I was really scared, but I got into the car and ran the car without showing it,” he recalled.
Such incidents were not the only ones, both locally and nationally.
Despite the horrors and uncertainties many have experienced, gas prices remained stable in most of Bakersfield and California the day after the attack. The Taft Highway Mobile Station, west of Highway 99, was stable at $ 1.41 a gallon on September 12, but remained the same as the previous day. The nearby Arco station was the same price.
However, gas prices soared in some parts of the country on the day of the terrorist attack, but gas suppliers quickly retreated the next day as many states said they would investigate reports of price cuts.
The impact of the attack stopped even the world of sports.
Tiger Woods has cleared up his club, the Associated Press reported. Barry Bonds’ pursuit of 70 home runs was put on hold. The college canceled the football game and the NFL struggled to avoid offending the mourning country. The Bakersfield Blaze baseball season suddenly ended near my house as the California League canceled the rest of the season.
In a post-attack column, Californian ready-to-beat sports writer Kevin Eubanks at the time stated what many are thinking.
“The United States was attacked by terrorists. That goes against everything I know. We are not attacked here. We are safe here. It’s only seen in movies, not in US soil. It should be done, “he wrote. ..
A recognized sports fanatic, Eubanks wrote that it is right to take sports breaks locally and nationally behind such a catastrophic event.
The army certainly did not take a break. But they stopped the local installation with a button. Two giant military bases in eastern Khan, the Naval Aviation Weapons Center China Lake and Edwards Air Force Base, have implemented Delta Threat status, improving security to a level never seen before. To date, 20 years after the terrorist attack, gate security at military installations has never returned to pre-9.11 levels.
The attack changed the security measures of our other people, then and now. The Federal Aviation Administration, the FBI, and other agencies have discussed the need for a wide range of new security measures that will permanently change the air travel experience of millions of Americans and travelers around the world. Most of the commercial air fleet remained grounded.
September 11th changed the world, changed America, changed Kern County, and changed us too.
Reporter Stephen Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @semayerTBC.
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