I was getting ready for work that morning, just going through the same routine that I went through every other day. My wife was still in bed as I dried off and started thinking about what to make for breakfast. As I got dressed I listened to the radio, something I never do anymore but that I did a lot back then. Internet radio was a bit of a sensation at the time.
Every station was flooded with the same reports. A plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. I remember that I felt disconnected from what I was hearing. It was probably shock.
I watched and listened as the events unfolded through out the day. At the time I worked as a Web Developer at a small company, so I was able to follow everything the entire day, and the weeks that followed.
Three things stick in my memory from that time.
- Feeling vulnerable. An attack on our shores. An attack against America that was successfully executed. Never until that day did I think it possible for that to happen. Our military is too strong and our country is too determined to allow it.
- As the death toll rose and rose and rose, I remember praying that it would stop. So much death. The a somewhat horrific trend started as radio stations and news reporters invited analysts and professionals to analyze the events. These professionals were talking about how the number was actually low considering other attacks, wars, or compared to the amount of people killed each year doing X. That felt like the most insensitive and callus thing to say. Like being kicked in the head. Why did that even need to be brought up?
- I was proud to be an American and I wanted to help. There was not much I could do all the way in California. We prayed and my wife and I donated to various organizations that were on the ground in NY serving. I was proud of our president and proud of the all the people that served and sacrificed their safety, health and in some cases, their lives. I hope that if I am ever called on to risk my life in a situation like 9-11, that I won’t hesitate to do so.
To those who lost their lives, to those whose lives were forever changed, and to those that serve others, I respect you.
Remembering September 11th 2001.