There are many infamous days in our history.
The OKC bombing.
Just to name a few. These are days that regardless of everything else we remember every detail of where we were and what we were doing at that exact moment.
9/11 is one of those days we will always remember every detail.
I was asleep when my mom called from South Dakota and told me to turn on the tv, to any news channel. Normally I would have said, “later” and gone back to sleep but she had that tone of voice that you don’t argue with. I turned the television on to see the smoke billowing from the first tower and just in time to watch the second tower get hit.
My initial reaction and the first thing I remember asking my mom is, “What’s gonna happen to my brother?” There was never a question of whether he would go. It was a matter of when. Just a few years earlier my brother had enlisted in the National Guard. By a fluke of accidental miracles he was never deployed.
Later that morning I headed to work. First day out of training at a new job. I remember people calling in and complaining about President Bush preempting everything. Eight hours later I was so drained from watching the events of the day and dealing with people’s selfishness. I know more than once I reminded people how we felt when the OCK bombing happened and that the attacks on the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and the crash in Pennsylvania were much worse than anything we’ve encountered before. They didn’t want to hear it. In the days following, however, things changed. The overall attitude of customers was one of ‘how can I make this better?’ instead of ‘it’s all about me’.
Life changed in that moment.
For thousands of people, lives were flipped upside down. The people lost were mothers, fathers, daughters, sisters, sons, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Each person has a face, a story, a life that was cut short.
To the Soldiers, EMTs, Firefighters, PD’s, other public service agents I’ve not mentioned – thank you for your time and your sacrifice to help those in need. You are true heroes.