Topic started on 11-9-2010 @ 04:23 AM by Calender
I sit here in the early morning and ponder this date that will be forever inscribed in the minds and hearts of our generation and perhaps generations
to come just as December 7 still is.
To a generation of children now growing up, life pre-September 11, 2001 is hard to understand. I guess it must have been the same for the generation
that was born after 1914. As I read in the history books I can only imagine the type of life that is hinted at as historians talk about the shift in
world dynamics that took place during that year as The Great War broke out, later known as World War I, after another war broke out that eclipsed the
first one. What used to take generations to happen now happens overnight. Long lasting empires, states, nations, rise and fall, come and go.
Indeed when I contemplate life as it is now, no other date has affected modern-day man more than 9/11 for many reasons. We live in a new era of
terror, of insecurity, of lawless violence, and religious extremism; an era where freedoms are stripped in the name of security and divisive lines are
being drawn on all sides.
What happened on 9/11 did not just affect the people who died on the two towers that fell from the sky they once so magnificently soared in. It did
not just affect those in the immediate surrounding who were able to watch it, or the family members that were affected, or the businesses that were
affected. It affected an entire nation, and not just the nation, but the entire world of mankind was shaken. Almost as if an earthquake shook the
We were stuck, seemingly motionless our eyes glued to our televisions, our ears listening to the radio reports, our hands typing on our keyboards
looking up as much information as we could about the event unfolding.
We were frantically calling friends and neighbors, relatives in distant states. There was a dark sense of disorientation. That deep pitted feeling
inside when you realized that it wasn’t an accident that America was under attack that the country WAS UNDER ATTACK. Was that possible? North
America is isolated from the rest of the world. If anyone wanted to attack the United States they would have to cross vast Oceans on either sides or
a frigid and cold north. By then the armed forces would undoubtedly have spotted them.
How could we have gone to sleep one night, without a care in the world, and awaken the next morning to shattered imagines on a TV screen, and slow
realization that civilization would never be the same again?
So I sit here and contemplate that and without a doubt remember where I was on that fateful morning. I had awoken, late. I should have been out of
bed by six but I slept in to 6:30 I think, that is Mountain Time. I was going to be late. My wife hurriedly prepared me a breakfast while I showered
and shot out the door. I didn’t turn on the TV or listen to anything before leaving.
My trip usually lasted forty-five minutes in rush hour traffic through downtown Denver down to Littleton where I worked I usually listened to NPR to
pass the time. The sun was shining, and the cool morning breeze was blowing in the window as I drove down Larimer St, a street that ran through the
center of downtown Denver. I wasn’t paying much attention to the radio as I was busy dodging in and out of traffic that seemed to be going too
slow. I think I saw a police car parked ahead and to the right and slowed down and got behind a mini-van. I was going to be late for work for
My attention drifted to the radio as I came to a red light. There was a story about an airplane hitting the World Trade center. Great, I thought, I
want to listen to the morning news, not some fiction book they’re reviewing. I turned the channel to 630AM KOA talk radio, they at least have ABC
News on the top of the hour, and their morning host talks about interesting things sometimes. But he too was talking about a plane running into the
World Trade Center. What a weird coincidence, that must have been a good book, everyone is talking about it this morning.
I wasn’t in the mood for listening to wild stories though, so I turned it to FM and focused in on 98.5 KYGO, that’s the country station I
sometimes listen too. They weren’t playing music; rather they were playing live feed from NBC, if I remember correctly. A plane has just run into
one of the World Trade Centers in New York City. Then it started to sink in. This is a real story. If a plane ran into the World Trade Center, then
the United States is under attack. And if we’re under attack…I turned around and drove back home, gonna see if my wife is okay. Besides I’d
rather miss the day than show up late, I get docked one-half point more anyway, and I was feeling sick the past two days.
“Honey have you seen the news?” I ask walking inside. She comes out of the kitchen.
“What’s wrong, why’d you come back?”
I look around find the remote control lying inside a cushion of the couch and pull it out and flip it to NBC and the Today Show. Katey Curric is
talking about the trade center crash. They’re showing pictures of it.
“Look, we’re under attack,” I state back. She seemed disinterested.
“Okay honey, I got to get back into the kitchen and clean up. Are you going to call in?”
“Right,” I respond walking to the phone. “But you do realize what is happening? We’re under attack!”
“Okay, well, let me know what happens.”
While I’m dialing work the second plane hits and we watch it live on TV. Oh man, another one? This is crazy! I see the looks on the anchors
faces, you can tell they’re trying to hold it together but you can still see the shock in their eyes. I put the phone down.
“Honey, you have to see this, get into the living room.”
She comes back in. They replay the crash a few times.
“Oh my,” she says.
“Yea, like I said we’re under attack. I’m staying home for sure, pretty soon President Bush is going to be declaring Marshall Law, and I’d
rather be at home when that happens than stuck at work.” I realize that was a pretty stupid statement, but at the time it felt real enough.
Then the first tower came down. And just a really bad feeling sunk into my gut and tears came to my eyes. The world was watching the mass murder of
thousands of people on live TV. It was probably the most traumatic thing that I had ever seen. The second one came down a little later. It was
surreal. It was like I woke up into a different world, then the reports of the attack on the Pentagon, and the downed plane. And the anchormen were
know talking about a full-fledged attack on the country. You could almost sense that the people on the Today show probably wouldn’t to bolt out of
their chairs and get out of that building. They might be in the targeted area. Who knows what’s next?
Finally I remember, gotta call work. I get my manager. “What’s up you’re late.”
“I’m late? We’re under attack? Have you been watching the news?”
“Doesn’t matter need you in.”
“I’m taking the day off.”
“Just come in.”
“Alright, I’ll be there in an hour,” I hang up. “Honey, I’m going in to work. Be careful while I’m gone.”
“Alright love you,”
“Love you too,” she kisses me on the lips and I’m out the door driving through downtown looking up at the skyscrapers touching the blue sky
above. Wonder if any of these are next? People are filing out in the streets, looks like they’re evacuating some of the buildings. I would be
evacuating if I was in any of them.
I get to work and it’s a really dead day. We usually get calls from all around the country from the satellite dealers that work for us but today I
got a total of two calls in four hours, and they only talked about what was going on. The switchboards on the whole eastern-coast seem to be down.
Finally the manager tells us to pack up and go home early.