I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on Sept. 11, 2001, a day that anyone who was alive then will remember. Probably the most devastating day in United States history.

 


I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on Sept. 11, 2001, a day that anyone who was alive then will remember. Probably the most devastating day in United States history.

I was sitting in my sixth-floor office in Little Rock, Ark., and got up to walk to the break room. The television set was on a popular all-news network. Normally, it was not on because no one would be in the break room at that time of the morning watching it. However, I glanced at it when I walked in and thought perhaps I was watching the movie trailer for some gloom and doom movie that was about to premier in theaters.

However, as I stood watching, I realized that this was not something fictional, that it was in fact happening right then, and in New York City.

As I continued to watch, I thought to myself that life will never be the same, even though I had no idea who would eventually take credit for all the death and destruction that occurred that day.

As soon as I saw the second tower fall and heard about the plane which has crashed into the Pentagon, I rushed back to my office to make a phone call. You see, I had a close friend whose office is located around the corner from Grand Central Station, and only two blocks from where there Twin Towers stood.

At first, I was unable to get through because a number of the switches used to route calls in New York City were located in the Twin Towers. The company I worked for at the time actually utilized some of those switches, which is how I came by that bit of information.

The friend I was trying to contact had an office on the 21st floor, and I was afraid that he might have been injured, as close to ground zero as he was. Just the day before, he had walked over to the Twin Towers to take care of some business, and was scheduled to return there that day, Sept. 11, 2001.

When I was finally able to get through to his phone, the minute I heard his voice a wave of relief swept over me. He was sitting watching what was happening from his office window and describing it to me. He said it was as if he was watching a movie, because he could not believe that it was real.

Fortunately, the building he was in remained structurally sound, unlike many of the others surrounding the Twin Towers that eventually would either crumble or be demolished.

That day, people of all races, ages and walks of life -- and not just Americans -- lost their lives due to the hatred of a few misinformed and uneducated individuals, and not just in New York City, but in Washington, D.C., and in Pennsylvania.

I have had the opportunity to visit all three sites, and I know my life will never be the same, knowing that while we may live in the most powerful nation in the world, we are still vulnerable. I will never forget how I felt that day, nor will I ever forget the fact that so many innocent people perished because of hatred on the part of others.

The policemen, firemen and emergency personnel who responded that day will always remember, and they will also keep in their minds and hearts, those that they worked alongside who did not survive 9/11.

They remember, and we remember. We will never forget!

Linn County Leader