I’m sure we all remember where we were on this day in 2001.
I was on the phone with my mom, as it’s her birthday.
There was commotion in the office at my old job and people started running around. Clearly something out of the ordinary had occurred.
When I got off the phone the initial reports were coming in.
Yet more horrific events continued to occur.
A field in Pennsylvania.
My sister lives in Manhattan and works nearby the World Trade Tower. I managed to get her on the phone. She was heading home as everything had ground to a halt because people were completely stunned.
I suggested not getting on the subway. Still too much could go wrong in a coordinated attack. So she walked more than 100 blocks uptown.
We hadn’t met yet, but my wife Carolina was in the Capitol that day at an event. The police came in and started shouting for everyone to evacuate immediately. Mass exodus ensued.
Almost everyone I knew called me that day.
Friends, family, and acquaintances from all over the world. Wanting to share their shock and disbelief and to check on me to be sure I was okay.
And they know I tend to follow the action and give a solid account of events.
I didn’t disappoint. A girl from work was scared of getting home since she lived in Pentagon City. I told her I’d be able to get her there. There may have been tons of roadblocks, but there just isn’t the manpower to block EVERY road.
After getting her home, I then actually went to the Pentagon. Walked straight onto the reservation and into the triage area.
I do prefer to see things with my own eyes, as the media is hardly ever truly accurate.
The scene I saw is permanently etched into my memory.
Soldiers in shock.
Heads in hands.
All as the enormous building burned in the background.
Disturbing to say the least.
But I don’t want to forget.
And I don’t think anyone should.
Too much depends on remembering.
The huge amount of patriotism that followed was inspiring.
A reminder of who we are and can be.
An appreciation for not shutting down, but coming back stronger.
A focus on getting back up and rebuilding.
Red, white, and blue and flags everywhere.
I arrived back home from Europe yesterday. During the drive back from Dulles airport every overpass had multiple flags on display again, just like 12 years ago. And I was happy to see it.
My son started counting the flags on each overpass and then stopped to think about it and asked me why they were suddenly there.
How do you start to explain it to a 4 year old?
I simply said that it’s because September 11th is a very important day.
One not to be forgotten.
So let’s not forget it.
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