|September 11th started out same
as always. I arrived at the school at 6 AM and drank coffee outside with
the ladies who make the school lunch. Prior to coming to work - I check
my email and there was a letter of petition sent to me by an old high school
teacher asking me to sign it and condemn the Taliban. I did, but my reasons
may have seemed bizarre - I was ticked off that they would bomb 1000-year-old
statues to the ground. I thought they looked as bad as Hitler did when he
tried to destroy the Jews. Did I know that this day would be the beginning
of the end of their reign?
It was about 8:46 AM and I was driving from the High School to our storage facility when I heard on the radio that a plane had hit the WTC. I thought nothing of it at the time - I mean this is just another news day - right? I went in and picked up a new laser printer for the Middle School, and had just driven it over and carried it in - when I noticed they had the TV on. They were watching NBC's Today show and I asked them if they would mind switching it over to CBS - I told them Katie Couric does not cut it for news like this.
I was in the process of setting up this laser printer - 7 feet from the TV when the second plane hit the second tower. I remember the replay and the fact that the newscaster said this was not a small plane - but that it looked like a 747. I continued to set up the printer and completed the task - the whole time glued to the TV as well. Many people came and went. I remember when they broke in that something had hit the Pentagon. Many people were asking why.
My response at that time - no kidding - was that they were targeting symbols - obviously no actual attacking - but rather to go after things to send a strong message. I worried that KSC, The White House and the Statue of Liberty may be next. We watched as planes ground to a halt. I watched people call loved ones. I watched that smoke over the Manhattan skyline when the first towers collapsed become a dense haze. It was like watching a movie. When the second tower fell - I knew a lot of people had died - I feared 10's of thousands at that time.
Like most people I was in a bit of a daze, not really knowing what to think - too shocked to pull away - to shocked to stay focused, not scared, but still wondering why. Deep down I thought Bin Laden was the one - he was on America's Most Wanted - and was the kind of nutcase who would try this in America too. I felt for the people of New York in a bizarre way - a city so large where people don't care for people like they do here in the country - a city where the people could almost think they were not living through this.
I went home early - turned on the TV and noticed every channel on my 100-channel dish was focused on this event. It never really hit me until two things happened. The first was the collapse of WTC #7 - watching it live many hours later, and the second was when I noticed those two beautiful towers gone from the skyline that I adored on my evening news.
I was never really scared. I feared more for them then I still do for myself today. Maybe it's the people I live around, but I know that one day, a redneck will hunt that bastard down and put his head on a stick. I know that day is near because I trust the country we live in, the people I live around and myself to do what is right - that is - rid the world of idiots like this so that our children may live in the same peaceful world we all had because others did the right thing in their time.
Dedicated to the brave men and women of Operation Enduring Freedom