We all have times in our lives where someone can ask, “do you remember where you were and what you were doing on…” this date or that date or when this happened or that happened?
Some of us have several of those dates and events. My own that stand out are a small handful. I was in the second grade when President Kennedy was assassinated and I remember someone coming down to our class from the office to make the announcement. We didn’t have intercom speakers making announcements in those days.
I remember being at home during the Detroit riots and looking to see if I could see the red glow from the flames. I remember being in the sixth grade when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, and then just a few short weeks later when Bobby Kennedy was killed in California. A year later, playing baseball out back and then coming in to watch Neil Armstrong step on the moon. I was working in a gas station that August day when President Nixon resigned.
Presidents fall from one thing or another and others stumble but get right back up, like when Reagan was shot. Civil rights was front and center for several years and they had violence, but it was localized each time. Those leaders too fell. Political wannabe leaders, and then amazing events.
September 11, 2001 was the first attack on this country in my lifetime. I was in a hotel in Virginia and came down for the Continental breakfast. Standing there drinking coffee when the first tower was hit and I turned to the guy next to me and said “how can a pilot be flying over New York and not see he was headed for huge building?” Then a few minutes later as we were watching another flew in to the other building and I said “we’re under attack”. Then there was speculation the Pentagon had been hit. A couple of women sitting in the lobby were crying. I called home.
When it’s all said and done, nearly 3,000 dead. Four planes, four targets and three direct hits. Because of the first three hitting their targets and passengers on the fourth knowing about it, they did what the government and the military couldn’t do. They took the plane back from the terrorists.
A surprise attack that wasn’t expected and in the span of minutes citizens, not part of the government, not part of the military, took their plane back from the attackers and saved countless lives on the ground at either the Capitol or the White House.
This country had not seen this sort of attack on its shores since the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
When this happened, my son was 11. My daughter was 5 and my other daughter was 3. It makes me wonder, if these things are what I remember in my lifetime, how horrific will the things be that they will remember when they reach my age and say “do you remember where you were and what you were doing the day that…….”
You’re welcome to comment and encouraged to share you own stories.