The Joke

January 4, 2011
By , Hartland, WI
“We thought it was a joke, because something like that was hard to imagine.” These words describe Mike Greeneway’s experience regarding the September 11th terrorist attacks, one of the most infamous moments in American history.

A couple of days before, Mike and some of his buddies drove across the US - Canada
border for their annual fishing trip. Meant to be a weekend to relax and fish in the remote Canadian wilderness, the group was cut off from the outside world. All that they brought was a small radio.

September 11th was like any other day. They woke up, ate breakfast, and went fishing. They came back, ate lunch, and went fishing. They listened to the radio, ate dinner, and went fishing. Repeat cycle.

The first time Mike was informed of the attacks was on the radio. “Since we were in Canada, we hadn’t heard anything until two days later” he said. “Our team (Work) was less than ten miles from ground zero, and we knew a lot of people in New York.” He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

According to Mike, border security had increased tenfold by the end of the trip. “They were a lot more suspicious. They even asked us how many walleye we had, since only two were allowed to cross per person.”

Not a week after the attacks, specifically the following Monday, Mike was scheduled on a flight back to New Jersey. “The plane was virtually empty” he said. “The people were quiet and worried. I think they thought there could still be a terrorist attack that day.”

To add to the tension, Mike recalls two or three men, who, coincidentally, looked like they were from the Middle East. He doesn’t normally judge people on appearance, but considering that two of the tallest buildings in New York had just been demolished by terrorists, he kept a close eye on them. He remembers when one stood up to go to the bathroom. “It seemed as if the whole plane was watching them” he said.

To this day, Mike Greeneway vividly remembers his experiences of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

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