Much like my parents generation at the time of the Kennedy assassination, I remember specifically where I was standing, what I was doing. I was in front of our shop, when over the pickup radio I heard that a plane had struck one of the twin towers. At the time, it seemed like a freak accident, and the news was treating it mostly as such.
Being somewhat of a news junkie, but without access to a television. (Smart phones were unheard of, internet access was slow as molasses dialup) I turned to the news resource I usually relied on – our DTN unit. For those unfamiliar with DTN, it was an ag specific market/news/weather terminal and service that was in it’s prime before such information moved to the internet.)
Fortunately, the DTN had an AP breaking headlines/news section, and I remember the exact moment when the headline came across that a second tower had been hit. At that very moment, I think EVERYONE knew, without any doubt, that this was no accident. That we were watching the most cold, cruel attack on innocent civilians that America had ever and hopefully will ever know. It was that specific moment when the headline of a second plane hit that will forever be etched in memory.
I could write about the aftermath, the time I spent in the hospital a few days later watching the event continually, the specific memory there was watching Bush land at the site and give a short talk. I could write about the dramatically increased security that travelers now face, about many things.
But today, I think most of the individuals and families who are no longer with those they love, and the heartache and pain this day surely brings back. So much separation - those that died in the attacks themselves, those that have been killed in the fighting since, and the many, many more who go to bed with heartache every night hoping, praying for the safe return of those they love.
Today, my thoughts and prayers are with them.