Today as the activities of life were buzzing on around me, I wanted to stop and take a moment to remember those who lost their lives in the Twin Towers terrorist attack on 9/11/01.
As I write this, this incomprehensible attack still seems fresh in my memory. I can feel tears welling up in my eyes at the thought of the thousands of people who were killed by such pointless violence, including 411 emergency rescue workers who had responded to the scene.
On the morning of 9/11/01, I remember being awoken from my sleep shortly before 9 am to a panicked voice on the other end of the phone screaming at me to turn on the television. The heart-wrenching emotion in that voice assured me that something terrible had happened. I reached blindly for the remote control, having only gotten a little more than one hours sleep after working a long night shift. I flipped on the television and could hardly believe what I was seeing. Smoke was billowing out of the North Tower and the anchor was saying that a terrorist had crashed a plane into the building. For several minutes, netiher myself or my friend on the line said anything. The news had shocked us both into silence.
I remember flipping through channels trying to get more information and hearing that other planes had been hijacked as well. Then just when it seemed that it all might be over, another plane flew into the South Tower. I was filled with such a horrible sense of uselessness as I sat and witnessed the event from my sofa, powerless to do anything but watch.
A few minutes later there was coverage of at least one, and possibly two hijacked planes, that were possibly headed towards the Capitol. The whole incident seemed so surreal.
A few minutes later my pager started going off. I was being called back to work as a precaution after a terrorist activity alert was received by my agency that other cities could also have similar incidents occur.
Still stunned, I put my uniform back on, strapped on my gun and badge, and reported for duty. I was later told that both buildings had collapsed and that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon. Thankfully, the terror ended with those four planes; however, I remember the heightened alertness and sense of worry and dread that hung heavy in the air that day and for weeks afterward as we anticipated the possibility of more terrorist acts.
It was one of the worst times that I can remember in my lifetime, and I pray that nothing like that ever happens again. My thoughts and prayers go out to the deceased family members on this day of rememberance, and may those persons who lost their lives on that fateful day never be forgotten.