We Will Never Forget

Where were you?

 On this infamous and historic day, many of us have spent the day telling stories or reflecting on where we were and what we were doing during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

 I can remember September 11, 2001 in detail. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday or my best friend’s birthday, but I will never forget September 11, 2001.

 I was in Houston, Texas for business training with the general manager and the BMW general sales manager [GSM]. We were learning how to create and implement a call center to provide sales and client care assistance.

The GSM was a prankster who loved having fun, so when he greeted me in the hotel lobby, where we were meeting to take the shuttle to the training center, talking in hurried voice about a plane crashing into a skyscraper in New York City, my immediate response was disbelief. I was dealing with a known boy-who-cried-wolf.

“No!,” He snapped. “Come look!” he said pointing at the lounge television.

As I stood in front of the television, the second plane crashed.

“Oh, my God” he said. “Another plane hit!”

 “No,” I said. “That’s a replay.”

 As we all know too well, the tragedy was real. Four planes crashed that day and nearly 3000 souls were torn from this earth.

The airports were closed. The skies were quiet…until the fighter jets started patrolling the oil fields to guard against further terrorist action. The feeling was surreal; I’ve never felt as out of place and time as I did the day the skies went quiet.

 Our training was canceled for the week, so I walked to the grocery store to buy a new book to read, the first book in the Harry Potter series.

When the airports re-opened, we stood in line for hours in eerie quiet.

Because of our experience flying to Houston, we were upgraded to first class. As the plane taxied down the runway, everyone held their breath and conversations remained hushed for the entire flight.

When the plane touched down in Raleigh-Durham and then came to a stop, cheers and shouts erupted. We had arrived home safely.

We will never forget September 11, 2001, just as my mother’s generation will never forget the day the first human walked on the moon, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, or the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed.


Categories: People, Social
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