Today many of us will remember where we were 12 years ago. I saw a car accident on my way to work that morning and thought, “Someone’s day isn’t going the way they planned.”
90 minutes later, word came to my office about the first plane hitting the Trade Center, and I thought, “Where on earth is air traffic control?” When the second plane hit, I experienced a moment of pure disbelief. “But people are in those buildings,” I stammered to my secretary. “People who just went to work.”
Parents streamed into my school to pick up their children. Businesses closed. I asked teachers to leave the television monitors in their classrooms off – the news was too overwhelming, the images too horrible, the lack of answers too frightening.
Today, there aren’t many words left. That day divided American history into “before” and “after,” as historic events do. We don’t take our safety for granted as we did “before.” We know America isn’t “off limits” when it comes to terrorism. We strip our coats, belts and shoes off at the airport, and feel an odd tinge of gratitude for the bomb sniffing dogs at the train stations.
We know for certain that evil is an active force in the world.
Our son Bryce has become a first responder since 9/11. Our soldier son Matt has been deployed twice since that day. I honor those who go where they need to go, who do what they need to do, who serve others even when it means sacrifice and risk to themselves.
Let us remember the innocent. The victims.