It’s one of those defining questions of our time. Where were you when JFK was shot? Where were you when the Space Shuttle exploded? Where were you on 9/11?
I was at work that morning, listening to a CD so none of the news had filtered down to me yet. That’s when a coworker came into my office & asked if I could take the company van to St. Louis to pick up our plant manager. He had been dropped off the night before in order to catch an early flight, but before it could take off, all of the airports in the country had been grounded. I listened to the radio all the way up including a live report as the second plane struck. We drove all the way back in relative silence.
I had a town board meeting right after work, but when I returned home Leah & I spent the rest of the evening in the living room watching TV, like most Americans. We couldn’t take our eyes or ears off of it long enough to do much of anything else. We watched the reports in a daze but had yet to feel any real impact of the situation. We were emotionless & numb. We had watched for so long that the channel we were tuned in to went off the air for the night. At that moment, in place of their usual sign-off, they showed images of an Eagle in flight as an instrumental version of “Amazing Grace” played softly. That was the moment our emotions finally broke. We simultaneously burst into tears. Holding each other, we cried long into the night. Every cell in my body trembled. Every nerve ending ached. Every element of my being wept.
That is the one moment from 9/11 that I will remember the rest of my life