Monday, September 04, 2006

A Week of Memorial to the Victims of 9-11

Today marks one week to the five year anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. During this week I want to honor the Police, Firefighters, and Americans who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks. To begin this week I want to show you a video tribute to the children of those who died. This originally was an animated video posted on the internet. Someone changed the scenes to photos however they kept the original soundtrack. It brought tears to my eyes and I bet it will to yours also.

The first thing that comes to my mind is where I was when the attacks first were announced on the news. It comes to my mind because I was driving my daughter to school. She was nine years old and I was driving down San Mateo Street near the intersection of St Francis Drive when I heard about the first plane striking the World Trade Center on 77 KKOB Radio station. I thought it was odd and a horrible accident. I dropped my daughter off at elementary school and headed home.

At the time my wife and I worked out of our home. I called my wife and told her to turn on the TV as I headed home. I got home and a short time later we watched horrified as the second plane struck the second tower. My wife cries at movies and I remember the look on her face as the tears fell from her eyes. My son was in high school at the time and she wanted me to go get both kids from school. I argued against it and we decided, (maybe I decided) to leave them at school.

After the attack on the pentagon I remember thinking this was the beginning of World War 3. It seemed a lot like the kamikaze pilots at Pearl Harbor. I really thought the missiles or other military strikes were coming next. I remember this day vividly and it must be like the day President Kennedy was shot, or Pearl Harbor to our generation. I always remember my mother talking about the day President Kennedy was shot and what she was doing. She was driving me home from the hospital one week after my birth. She heard of Kennedy's assassination on the radio just like I first heard of the September 11 attacks. Where were you when the planes struck? Use the comment section to talk about it. In my next post I will talk about the effect that September 11, 2001 had on local law enforcement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember that morning -- how beautiful it was out. Cool and sunny, with a glorious pink and orange sunrise. I remember wondering, when all the horror began, how something so evil could happen on such a beautiful day.

I was sitting at my desk adding menu items to the nutritional wizard of when the first report came over the radio. The DJ thought the first report was a bad joke. I opened my browser and tried to pull up CNN, but their servers were already overloaded. Early radio reports were indicating that it was a small private plane -- then a freight carrier. The DJs were talking like it was an accident.

My creative director came straight to my desk from the parking area, grabbed me, took me to his office, and turned on his TV. We stodd there and watched the second plane hit and we knew these were commercial jets and that this was no accident.

I remember turning my back to the TV. All I could think about was all the people. All those people who were suffering and dying right in front of our eyes.

Most of my team was in NYC for meetings that day, and my boss and I started trying to get them on their cells. We couldn't get through.

Our CEO told us all to go home.

I stayed a few hours longer -- I just couldn't leave without knowing my team was safe.

Our offices were located in Kansas City's old downtown airport. The runways were right outside my window -- one of the things I most loved about my job was sitting at my desk watching jets arrive and depart. There were no planes that day. Looking back, one of my strongest memories is the dead silence of that airport and its airspace. It was always such a noisy place; that day, we could hear each other breathing.

I don't remember being afraid at all. I just remember being unbearably sad. Broken-hearted. For all those people -- workers in the towers and cops and firemen and passengers on the planes -- and for their families. To know they were watching their loved ones die, over and over and over on the TV. It was just too much to bear, really.