Like many of you, 10 years ago today I was dumbfounded as I watched the live news coverage of a plane that crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Moments later we were further stunned as we watched live coverage as the second plane crashed into the South Tower. Although I wanted nothing more than to stay home with my children, I needed to go to work. By the time I got there, everyone was talking about how this was an attack. We gathered in an office and watched the news coverage of the events. And then the news came in about the Pentagon being hit by a third plane and the tragedy which was so many miles away became personal to me.
My brother was working at the Pentagon and although I tried to call him, I couldn’t get through. So, I called my Dad in San Antonio and asked him if he had heard from Mike. My dad said Mike wasn’t in the building as their offices had moved due to the construction at the Pentagon. I had to bear the bad news that Mike’s offices hadn’t moved yet and he was still there. For what seemed like forever, we waited to hear word. Mike was able to get through to his wife who called us and let us know he was okay and that he was headed down to the operations center at the Pentagon and we wouldn’t hear from him for a while.
Later we found out how very close he came to tragedy. He had been scheduled for a meeting and was called back to his office. His work mates who had already arrived at the meeting room before receiving word that it had been cancelled died as the plane crashed into their side of the building.
This morning, I had my children read the article from Rice University about my brother and his perspective today on that experience. They were too young to understand what was going on at the time, so on this anniversary that holds so many in our nation in thrall, I thought they should know how it touched their uncle’s life. I invite you to read it, too.
Where were you 10 years ago? What are your memories?