My Memory of September 11
To this day, the sight of a low flying plane brings back memories of September 11, 2001. On that day, the world changed forever. Still to this day, the tragedy that unfolded has had an effect on me.
This morning while reading the timeline of the moments prior to the second planes crash, I found myself starting to choke up. My mind wandered to where I was when the first and second planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers.
My wife and I were living in College Station. She was upstairs getting ready for work, I was about to leave for mine. Finishing up a quick bowl of cereal before I left, I turned on the 'Today Show' when Bryant Gumbel came on and said it appeared a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. OK, I thought, accidents happen, small plane hit it before I remembered. Just another day, time to go to work. Little did I know how the day would roll out.
I drove the five minutes to my work at a media production company in Bryan. As I walked in the door, all monitors were tuned to various media outlets when into view came the second plane. The resulting crash and fireball left all of us in the studio stunned, speechless, in shock. Then I recall, after a seemingly endless silence, one of my fellow employees quietly asked, "Are we at war?" More silence followed because no one knew the answer.
None of us had friends or relatives in the towers, much less NYC, but I think at that moment everyone in that studio, and all Americans across the nation, were New Yorkers at that moment. We all prayed everyone got out. We hoped this was just some major mistake, but knew deep down that was impossible. Two planes, one crashing into each tower, couldn't be human error. It had to be a calculated event.
At 8:37 CST, Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. 8:58 CST, 56 minutes after the impact of Flight 175, the South Tower collapses. 9:03 CST, Flight 93 crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. 9:28 CST, the North Tower collapses. Time seemed to move slowly in hind sight, but at the moment it seemed to be coming like machine gun fire. Shock and sorrow gave was to anger. Anger at some anonymous, unseen force that had the gall to attack us.
It affected me down to the core. I, along with most of America, had had our faith shaken and our beliefs shattered. The America we knew died before our eyes. We worried about our loved ones who were not within arms reach, and those that were, were held tightly.
Alan Jackson asked the right question. Where were you when the world stopped turning?
This is a commercial by Budweiser that only ran once. It still sends me back to that day.