Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?

Where were you that fateful day? Like millions of others, I was at work. A day like any other day.

I was going by our Receipt Inspection area when Rodney told me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. He heard it on the radio. We didn't have TV's at Jered back then. The first thing I thought of was some little private plane had crashed into one of the buildings, probably due to low visibility from rain or fog. Rodney told me he thought they said it was a bigger plane. As we talked it over, unconfirmed reports were coming in that another plane had hit the other building. Rodney and I had the same cold chill. Now we knew this wasn't an accident. Then came the Pentagon and Flight 93.

The rest of the day, I would listen to radios around the shop as I stopped in to do one inspection after another, picking up tidbits of information. The most intriguing part was to hear the government grounded all flights and that planes were directed to the nearest airport. The coordination of this must have been astounding. Living and working in the south on the coast, we see our fair share of air traffic overhead. The contrails are always noticeable here, except for that day and the days following the attacks. It was almost scarey when you did see one, because you knew it was military jets.

I didn't get to see any news coverage until that evening when I got home from work. I tuned in to CNN and stared in disbelief for a couple of hours. When I was numb enough, I turned it off. Later on, before dark, I can remember standing outside with my wife at the time, looking up at nothing, and reflecting on the events of the day.

I remember hanging onto every word of the news over the next couple of weeks, looking for anything new. I remember feeling closer to my neighbors and fellow Americans.

Today, the eleventh anniversary of the attacks, I still remember those feelings. Don't ever forget the thousands that died that day, or the thousands that have died since. Don't ever forget the brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, the fathers, mothers, and children either lost or left behind.

Be safe.

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