On Sept. 8, our foursome arrived in Ireland for a week of golf. On Sept, 11, we had already played a morning round and now arrived at another course to play an afternoon round at 2 p.m. [9 a.m. EST.]
As we waited for our caddies, the telly [TV] switched to “A Special Message from America.”
The first plane had already hit one of the twin towers. As we watched in shock, the other plane crashed into the other tower. I don’t know why, but before we left the USA, I purchased a 30-minute pre-paid AT&T phone card [we had no cell phones].
I went to a wall phone in the pro shop and within minutes, I was talking to my wife making sure that she and our four children were OK. Without the phone card, I believe it would have been hours, if not days, to reach my family due to the transatlantic phone traffic.
The next day, Sept. 12, on the first tee, the Starter stated that at 9 a.m., all the bells in Ireland will ring for three minutes in memory of those who lost their lives the day before in America. We were expected to stop playing and stand silently for three minutes.
Cars, buses and trains stopped and people exited and stood quietly, shop owners did the same — three minutes of silence is a long time, it made you reflect on what happened in our country the day before.
I still get chills telling the story of what the Irish people did on our behalf.