"Where were you when....?"
That seems to be the question of the day each September 11. I was at work. The boss was out of town and so the office was more relaxed than normal and we were all standing around chatting before we started our day. It wasn't even 8:00 a.m. (Texas time) yet.
A co-worker's husband called and told us to turn on the TV because a plane had hit the World Trade Center. We scoffed and thought it must be a mistake... an awful accident. It wasn't and we, like the rest of the world, watched in horror as the second plane hit, the towers fell. None of us cried. I think it was just too shocking, too unbelievable to think that airplanes had hit the Pentagon and the World Trade Center -- and then hearing about the plane that had gone down in Pennsylvania.
At about nine o'clock that morning, my boss' boss called and asked me to find everyone. She asked me to call each of my sales reps and find out where each person was (many were traveling and now stranded) and assure each of them that the company was there for them. I remember thinking that my brother-in-law was on his way to Baltimore (I don't know why I new that) and hoping, praying that his plane wasn't affected and had landed safely somewhere because at that point, it was still unclear where the planes had originated or were going.
September 11, 2001, like December 7 for my grandparents' generation and November 22 for my parents' generation is the day that will always be that "where were you when...?" day. I hope that none of us ever forget the fear and outrage we felt that day because if we forget we become complacent.
As I sit here today, watching a flag flutter in the breeze, there are so many things about that day that I will never forget.
I will never forget seeing that second plane turning and heading toward the World Trade Center and then watching in horror as it hit.
I will never forget watching the towers fall.
I will never forget the images of people, covered in dust and soot, walking away -- just walking.
I will never forget those who ran in as others ran out.
I will never forget the Falling Man.
I will never forget the rush of patriotism in the days following 9/11/2001.
I will never forget sitting in church surrounded by many, many people yet still feeling utterly alone and afraid.
I will never forget the sound of all those planes flying over trying to land at DFW Airport as American airspace was closed.
I will never forget the sound of utter silence at night in my apartment (that was in the DFW landing pattern) broken by F-14s doing flyovers.
I will never forget the seemingly unending sound of bagpipes playing Amazing Grace at the funerals of those who died.
I will never forget I am honored and blessed to live in the United States where I have the ability to pray and worship without fear.
I will never forget those in the military who even now fight to keep America free.
I will never forget that no matter her flaws, America is still the greatest country in the world and a beacon of light and hope to the world.
I hope none of us ever forget....
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