This Sunday marks the 15 year anniversary of that fateful day when nearly 3000 innocent people lost their lives at the hands of 19 cowardly terrorists. Nearly everyone has their own personal story of what they were doing on that horrible day. For me personally, I remember that day like it was yesterday. There will probably never be any event in my lifetime that tops the pure tragic and shocking nature of what took place on September 11th, 2001.
It was a pretty typical Tuesday morning at work for me. I had just arrived and was getting prepared to attend a meeting when one of my co-workers ask me if I had heard about the news from New York. Apparently a plane had just flown into a building at the World Trade Center. I just thought that it was another tragic news story and more details would come out later. It did not immediately dawn on me that it was a terrorist attack. Nevertheless, I turned on my radio at work to hear some more horrifying news; another building at the World Trade Center had been hit. Before I could catch my breath and process what was going on, the Pentagon building had been also hit. And to add to the chaos, reports were coming out that another plane was hijacked and unaccounted for. Who knows were it was headed! I gathered with many of my co-workers in the break room to watch television. Needless to say, it was a day that I will never forget at work. Absolutely nothing got done that day. I tried extremely hard to stay focused and get a few things done, but that became a real challenge. I can remember an exchange I had with one of my co-workers who was upset that the airport was shut down and one of our products could not ship. I told her that her little package getting there on time is completely meaningless at this time. Nothing else mattered right now except for the security of our nation.
For days after this horrible event, I kept picturing myself being stuck in one of those doomed airliners or being a worker trapped in those burning buildings. How would I react if my death was increasingly imminent? Those are situations that nobody and I mean absolutely nobody can prepare for. It is everyone’s worst nightmare. 3000 innocent lives taken. It would have just as easily been you or me in those burning buildings that collapsed.
Even though this was indeed a horrific event, there were many acts of selfless bravery that really touched me. Who can forget the heroic acts of those firefighters who gave up their lives to help save the lives of other people? Those firefighters and first responders are true American heroes. And lets not forget the brave act of those passengers who fought with the hijackers on the missing plane. The plane unfortunately crashed but those everyday Americans probably saved many lives. Those individuals will also go down in history as true American heroes.
15 years have passed since that unforgettable day but it still seems like just yesterday doesn’t it? The big question I have is will there be another 9/11? How can we be sure that it will never happen again. Sadly, we cannot. This event should serve as a serious reminder that we are definitely vulnerable as a nation. The next event could make 9/11 look seem small in comparison. Another question I have to our government and political leaders is this: what are you doing to make sure this does not happen again? If we let our guard down just an ounce, it will happen again and you or I could be the next victims. All of our thoughts and prayers need to continue go out to the victims of that horrible day. It was a nightmare that will forever be etched in the history of the United States.