Septermber 11, 2007

Six years ago today, my life like so many others changed. I had just turned on the TV for my morning TV fix and found that all the channels were glued on a story about an airplane flying into one of the World Trade Center. And then the second plane hit, and then what seemed so long, but was really short time as the fires took off and they kept sending firemen in to try and stop it. I remember praying that the steel wouldnt fatigue under the high heat... and then watching the inevitable collapses and knowing that so many people had just died. And then there was the sitting there with the baby in his sleep 'sack' and me watching it happen over and over again.. and the feeling of complete help-less-ness.

Then there was the panicing of trying to get up to New York City or Washington D.C. to try and maybe just maybe save someone from that horrible wreck. Thankfully, my wife made me realize I wasn't trained and the best thing I could do was go to the local Red Cross chapter and get their teams ready to roll out.

And finally there was the gut-wrenching wonder if that was just the first step.. would there be car bombs in cities? suicide bombers at malls? snipers on highway overpasses? I remember that as all of us in our North Carolina neighborhood went from house to house asking what we could do... that we all stood in the street mostly to get away from the TV's that were playing those last few seconds of the planes crashing and towers falling. I remember the lady across the street voicing the realization that I think was on all our subconscious's, we hadn't seen or heard a plane overhead in hours.

And if by magic, a National Guard helicopter flew overhead fully loaded with personell. It was frightening in one sense that we all realized the comfortable world we lived in was changed... and yet it was oddly reassuring... and we began waving at the helicopter and someone pulled off the flag from their front porch, and for a minute we were waving it around and they were waving back to us... and somehow all our panic went away.

So to all the firefighters, policemen, national guardsmen, military personell, AND to all their families... THANK-YOU. Your sacrifices are what allows me the Freedom to write this, and I know I can never pay that back.