As I got ready for work on 9/11/01 I had the TV on the local morning news, as was my habit. Right before I left they announced that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.
My first thought was that some drunk pilot had steered wrong. The buildings are so large that it really did look like a small commuter plane.
I picked up my car pool buddy and we headed off to work and right before we arrived the second plane hit and we knew that it was no accident.
No work was started that morning. Everyone on the floor was gathered around the various TV monitors watching the news. When the first tower collapsed there was just shock. I ran into one coworker's office to tell him and he didn't believe it. When the second tower fell he thought they were just replaying the first tower. Unfortunately not.
We didn't know where all of our New York associates were - were any of them in meetings there? Thankfully no one from our offices were there - one had been there just the night before and one or two were scheduled there on that day but hadn't made it yet.
One of our associates in another office had been on the phone meeting with someone in one of the Towers when the planes hit. That someone did not make it and the conversations were tragic. But at least they were able to say goodbye - to convey their messages to family.
Thankfully my company sent people home if they wanted - and I wanted. Sometimes when things get too overwhelming I shut down. And I shut down that day. I went home and slept on the couch after crying. I slept and slept. There was nothing but coverage on the news - showing us people jumping to their deaths. All I wanted to do was escape and watch a sitcom.
It was also my sweet little cousins' 16th birthday. Not the best way to celebrate but she's handled every year remarkably well.
Seven years later we have not been hit again and even though it was a powerful hit we did not bend to the destruction that they hoped to force on out nation. I don't think that a similar attack would work today - passengers on planes are more aware and not willing to be flown to their deaths. I think if those on the first two planes knew where they were headed they would have fought back the way those on Flight 93 did. Americans are not ones to sit and 'take it'. We don't back down from a fight.
God Bless all of those who died - and all of those who fought. Those who ran toward the collapses to try to rescue people, even with their own lives at risk. Those who rushed the cockpit to fight the monsters. Those at the Pentagon who lost their lives.
They can try to hit us but we will not fall! Evil will not prevail. Life and Light will emerge victorious.
EDITED TO ADD: Please visit Sandee's blog for a heart breaking and amazing tribute. I had managed to go all day without crying ... until I saw her video.