Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I was on my way to work on that beautiful September morning, listening to the radio as always. The first plane had hit, and the DJ's were discussing what could make a plane veer off course that much. Then the second plane hit. I could hear the disbelief in their voices when they realized it wasn't a coincidence that two planes could hit the Twin Towers within minutes of each other.
When I got to work, my co-worker had the TV on in one of the attorney's offices. We sat there in stunned silence and watched the news coverage. I remember sliding out of the leather chair onto my knees when the first tower fell. It was inconceivable to me that the lives of countless people had just been wiped out.
By this time came news of the Pentagon being hit. We were under attack. In my lifetime.
It was simply unbelievable.
Charles was driving to Atlanta to a telecom trade show with a co-worker and another friend. As they neared the city, the electronic traffic signs over the interstate said "Due to national emergency, the airport is closed." He called me on his cell phone and I cried as I told him the news. When he arrived at the trade show, the large screen TVs that had been set up around the Georgia World Congress Center were all tuned to the news. Nobody bustled around the booths and spoke of technology. Everyone was glued to the TVs.
I left work and picked up Mr. Lego from the babysitter. He was only 7 months old. When I got home, I sat in front of the TV all afternoon, holding him close. I called my mom just to hear her voice. I cried as I watched the horror unfold.
For the first time in my life, I realized the depth of hatred that these people had for us and our freedoms. I had grown up in the 80's when communism was the enemy and nuclear war was the biggest fear the country faced. When the Cold War ended, we got complacent. And underestimated the threat that terrorists posed. Oh, there had been terrorist attacks on Americans on foreign soil. But I guess like most Americans, I thought we were safe within our own borders. How wrong we were!
September 11, 2001, changed everything.
May we never, ever forget.