I get these feelings, I don't know how to describe them, but once in a blue moon, they just come over me. I recall waking up one morning and going about my normal morning agenda. All of a sudden, I knew something was wrong. I tuned on CNN and the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City had just happened and the news networks were just arriving on scene.
I sat there and tried to comprehend what my eyes were seeing. Even though my television screen is very large, I just couldn't comprehend the depth of what was pictured. For me, it's comparable to Hurricane Andrew when it hit Miami. Although it was all over the television networks, when you see it live and in person, you begin to understand the depth of the tragedy.
I got the same feeling on September 1, 2001, and I turned on the television. All of the networks had just come on scene and the only thing known at the time was a commercial airliner had just crashed into the World Trade Center. The cameras focused on the blazing fire at the top of the building. As I surfed around the networks, little bites of information were slowly streaming in. And then, it happened.
A second plane, on screen and live, crashed into the second tower. I immediately knew what was happening and began calling people to let them know something was up. I didn't know who it was, but someone was attacking the United States of America.
The panic and chaos that ensued was consuming. Reports came in that the military was now airborne and that all planes were being ordered to land immediately. News came that a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon and that a fourth plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. Military jets were being ordered to take down commercial airliners if necessary.
I poured a glass of scotch. Devastation, smoke, explosions, fire.....people jumping from buildings ! My cell phone rang and I turned to pick it up. When I turned back around to the television, one of the buildings disintegrated in front of my eyes. I didn't even answer the call. I just sat there and stared at the television...and took a sip of scotch.
I began to wonder about the second building. Would it fall too? How can a building just implode upon itself? I knew that there was no way to put out the fire. What in the hell is happening? I stood there, fixated, looking at the antenna on the second building. The camera focused on the fire and smoke, the news reporters raving and ranting, people running and screaming. I looked at the building..... In disbelief, I thought, it's going too ! I watched........and it fell !
I couldn't believe it. The smoke and debris was everywhere ! People were running, crying, pleading for help. Police, firefighters and rescue workers were running toward the scene as people stampeded in every direction away from the turmoil. The faces of the people were agonizing and it overwhelmed me! It still overwhelms me today.
September 11, 2001, very much like December 7, 1941, is a date that is permanently etched in my mind. Today is a day to remember and reflect. God Bless you all and God Bless America !
Stay Tuned !