Fifteen Years Ago Today . . .
Time can heal all wounds, but it should never erase our memories. Fifteen years ago today, I remember waking up at 6:00am Pacific time, to the radio alarm clock. I had it set to KSFO in San Francisco. The morning crew was just getting word that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City. At that time, they didn’t know what kind of plane it was. They were thinking that a small sightseeing plane may have gotten out of control or something. I remember going out to the front room and turning on the Fox News channel and then waking up Kevin and telling him that something was going on. That was when the second plane hit the second tower of the World Trade Center. I watched as the TV showed the second plane slam into the side of the south tower and watched in horror as the flame ball came shooting out the other side of the building.
I remember turning to Kevin and saying, “We’re under attack! This is no accident.” I couldn’t think straight. Tears were running down my face as I just sat there watching the devastation that was unfolding before my eyes. They were down on the streets of New York City, trying to get camera crews in the area for more pictures and live shots. I think it was around 6:30am or so, when the news anchor came back with, “The Pentagon has just be attacked. A plane has just flown into the Pentagon. We’ll try to get more on the confirmation and video as it becomes available. It truly looks as if America is under attack!”
They started evacuations at the White House & Capitol Hill, fearing that they may be targets next. All the while, more pictures of New York were filling the screen. I had to take a shower and get ready for work. Why that was even important to me is still unknown. Here was America being attacked and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to be late. I remember, taking the fastest shower I had ever taken. I had to get back to the TV to see what was happening. Kevin was banging at my bathroom door, “the tower fell!!”
I came rushing out of the bathroom, toothbrush still in my mouth, as I got to the TV, images of dust clouds came pouring onto the screen. One of the camera crew & reporters made their ways into a business and filmed the dust cloud as it filled the entire street. They lost connection and the main studio came back. Hundreds of firefighters and police were still in the towers trying to save people. There was a sobering reality that many of them may have just been killed. My mind was just reeling with fear, anxiety, anger and sadness. The second tower came falling down about 30 minutes later. It was pure shock!
I finally made my way to work, the car radio filling the silence with up to date reports, which really were just a rehash of what I already knew. The breakroom TV was going with the CNN channel on. The reports were the same. Our employer, Lexar Media, didn’t push us to work that day. Some of us did, just to get our minds off of what was going on. Tears were flowing from many of us that day. It was the worst thing I had ever seen. Sadly, we also heard about the 4th plane that had crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
The days and weeks to follow, revealed the true nature of the horrendous acts committed that day. The loss of life and the devastation facing families & friends. I had a customer who was in New York who lost her son in the twin towers. That made it all the more personal when I found that out. It was already personal, but now it affected people I knew.
Fifteen Years Later!
Today, I hold deep in my heart, the memories of that day! I remember the lives lost, the heroes who saved so many more, and the evil that touched our shores. It is a personal day of mourning for me, tears still just a fresh as the first day. The wounds may have scared over, and the pain of the loss our country suffered may have subsided some, but it is not something I soon want to forget. I want to remember and I want to honor all those who lost loved ones that day. September 11th is not just another day for me. It shouldn’t be another day for any American. Thank You for sharing this day with me. Thank you for the strength and love you share with each other today. May God Bless Us All! May God Bless America!