Sunday is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a thwarted attack on most likely either the White House or the US Capitol.
I was at work. At the time I had a business partner, I was going through an agonizing and messy divorce, and the kids were of course too young to remember any of it.
We listened to a radio station at work that occasionally did spoofs and played pranks on local people, so when they cut the music and started with the news bulletins I didn't pay a great deal of attention. But the news didn't stop, and soon my business partner and I were sitting at our machines, jaws agape, listening as the broadcaster gave us the play-by-play of the second time in history that America was attacked on its own soil.
Eventually we gave up all pretense of working, and moved the radio out into our lobby, where we sat at the desk and listened.
We kept the shop open, and a few clients came in to pick things up, but I don't remember anyone coming in for a fitting. At closing time I took my children, who came to work with me as they did every day, and went home.
I turned on the tv and saw for the first time what I'd been hearing about all day.
I wondered, when I was listening to the radio, why our Air Force and other military forces seemed to do nothing. I think it was because it all happened so quickly.
I must have watched the video of the towers falling a hundred times, if I watched it once. I remembered flying out of New York City on my way to my new duty station in Turkey back in 1988, and how I marveled at the Twin Towers and how they dominated the skyline. Even now when I see New York City on tv or in a movie, my mind's eye puts the towers back in the picture.
I remember hearing about Todd Beamer and his (and his fellow passengers') selfless act of incredible bravery and patriotism....who knows what would have happened if Flight 93 had not crashed in that field in Shanksville, PA.
I remember realizing that the country I love so much, my home, would never again be the same place, because it takes a special kind of evil to plan and (almost) accomplish what the Muslim al-Qaeda terrorists did - to come into OUR country and attempt to destroy it.
This is the first post of a short series. Stay tuned for the rest of my thoughts.