Seventeen years ago today, on a Tuesday, at 6:59 a.m. Pacific Time, the first Tower fell. I was at work at the Sheriff’s Department, eyes glued to the television in the conference room across from my office. I was three thousand miles away from the horror, but I felt like I was witnessing something in my own neighborhood.
I’ll never forget as the tower fell in upon itself, it took me with it. I crumpled to the floor in shock and pain of the lives lost. I was the only civilian (and female) in a room filled with officers who were able to leave their posts to check out the news. As I was gasping in disbelief, I felt the eyes of my stoic fellow workers watching me, probably wondering what my problem was. They were trained to be strong in difficult times.
That’s my recollection of the beginning of that fateful morning on a Tuesday seventeen years ago. Later in the day I would call my girlfriend about our recently cancelled trip to New York and dinner at Windows on the World originally reserved for the evening of September 9th. If our trip hadn’t been cancelled we wouldn’t have been at the restaurant at the time of the attack, but we would have been stranded in New York for several days before being able to return home.
I didn’t know anyone who was directly or even indirectly affected by this horrible event. No friend-of-a-friend had perished or been injured. In spite of that, I knew then that our world would never be the same from that day forward.
Somebody didn’t like us. We were vulnerable. And yet, we were strong and resilient. It was the stark beginning of several tests we would face over the years.
I know everyone will always remember where they were and what they were doing on that morning. What is your experience?