Thirteen years ago today, the unthinkable happened — terrorists attacked our country, killing thousands of innocent people, destroying national landmarks, and forever challenging our feelings of safety.
Nine-eleven (9/11/01) is one of those landmark events, much like the John F. Kennedy assassination, the first moon landing, the Challenger explosion. We all remember exactly where we were, who we were with, and what we were doing.
You do, too, don’t you?
For me, I had just arrived at our local mall where I was one of two web designers vying for a chance to design the mall’s website.
It was my first official presentation, to a group of people (not an individual), since hanging out my shingle three months previously.
I was nervous, reminding myself to speak slowly and hoping my scanty portfolio wouldn’t be held against me in light of the experienced designer I was up against.
Before I turned off my car’s engine, I heard a shocking report on the radio. Something about a plane flying into the World Trade Center in far-away New York City.
Momentarily, I forgot about my presentation. Forgot a brilliant sun was shining outside on a clear September morning in Central Illinois. Forgot I was a web designer.
I was a journalist again, hearing the victims’ screams, seeing the blazing inferno, feeling the pain of rescue personnel unable to save everyone and knowing families would have to be contacted with unthinkable news.
My presentation, of course, was a blur. Nobody was too interested in “mundane” activities. All of us, me especially, wanted to be home. In front of our TV sets, watching the story unfold.
Which we did, for days to follow.
Why does it take a tragedy for us to fall to our knees and pray for mercy? To recognize our smallness? To realize that we’re all interconnected on this tiny plot of a planet, and that when one hurts, we all do?
I’d love to hear your 9-11 stories in the comment section!