Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us. ~Oscar Wilde, “The Importance of Being Earnest”
Fifteen years ago today, the unimaginable happened — more than 3,000 people were killed in an unprecedented terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Can you believe it’s been fifteen years??
I was just three months into my transition from newspaper journalist to web designer when the world as we knew it changed.
The morning of Sept. 11, 2001, was clear here in Central Illinois as I dressed for my first major sales presentation.
Our local shopping mall needed a redesign of its website and had invited me and another designer to make presentations to a committee.
Before leaving my office, I double-checked to make certain I had what I needed — business cards, an outline of points I wanted to make, etc. — and hopped in my car. The radio was on, but I wasn’t listening … preferring, I suppose, to mentally prepare for something that could change my life by jump-starting my new career.
As I pulled into the mall parking lot, the radio music was interrupted by an announcer haltingly hollering about a plane that had flown into the World Trade Center in New York City.
What? How was that possible?
The journalist in me wanted to stay in the car and listen, or get to a TV set … anything to learn “the rest of the story.” But time was nearing for my presentation, and I reluctantly went inside.
People were milling around, drinking coffee, talking about the attack. Nobody really wanted to hear web design presentations. Nobody wanted to give them either.
Yet we took comfort in each other’s presence, in the normalcy of a Central Illinois September day.
When the presentations were done and we dispersed, I — like millions worldwide — glued myself to TV, watching over and over as those planes exploded and the lives of people hundreds of miles away changed forever.
As we recall where we were on that day, it’s important to remember the sacrifices of the emergency personnel and other heroes from the original 9/11. Perhaps it’s also a good time to fly our Flag, to stand for our National Anthem, and to facilitate a resurgence of patriotism.
Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001?