Saturday, September 10, 2016
We must never forget
On September 11, 2001 I remember we were living in San Francisco. We woke up, showered and we were getting dressed and ready to leave for work while the morning news clattered on in the background. I walk by the TV and hear the morning show announcer tell everyone that they are getting word of a plane hitting the World Trade Center but don't know much yet. It was just after 6 am California time and just after 9 am New York time. We drove into the city to work shortly thereafter and everyone - and I mean everyone in the office was gathered in the board room watching the events of September 11th unfolding in front of us. I remember standing there and watching as the first tower fell and thinking in my head that I hope a lot of people on the ground didn't get killed - there were audible gasps from everyone in the room and finally someone said what the rest of us just couldn't fathom or even understand that there were thousands of office workers still INSIDE those towers that wouldn't survive. My brain could not fully comprehend that in the first seconds.
The whole city literally shut down, all government buildings were evacuated and the skies above us grew eerily quiet as the FAA stopped all air traffic and the only thing we saw were fighter jets streaking across the blue skies. That silence spoke volumes.
It was the sort of event that could define the times - that this attack was so evil and so scary and so completely unbelievable on so many levels.
Years later I was watching the TV show "Undercover Boss" and it was the CEO of Waste Management who went undercover. As he talked to other workers, they said how at about 3 pm every afternoon over the construction site of the new Freedom Tower the light turns a golden color and all you can see out of the windows is the sight of sparkling particles glittering in the late afternoon air. They said it is sacred ground at the site of the former Twin Towers and that in their hearts they feel it is the souls of everyone who died that day that glitters in the late day sunshine. That was truly something that has stuck in my mind to this day.
I have not been to the 9-11 Memorial in NYC to pay my respects yet - to honor those who perished - and for everyone who was somehow, inexplicably connected to this part of our US history - and the site of the worst terrorist attack at home on US soil. I don't know if I would be able to hold it together if I did go - but I will make it there one day.
So on September 11th please take a moment and remember.