Thursday, September 5, 2013
Memories of 9/11
When September rolls around, I immediately think 9/11. It’s hard to believe it’s been a dozen years ago.
This week’s column is largely a repeat of one I wrote on the fifth anniversary of that dreadful day.
I arrived at work early September 11, 2001. It started out as a normal deadline day.
But a few minutes later it turned into anything but normal.
My wife Pam called about 7:50 a.m. “A plane just hit the World Trade Center,” she said.
“What?” I asked.
“A plane crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City,” she said.
I first thought it was a tragic accident.
She called back a few minutes later. A second plane had struck the south tower of the World Trade Center.
“No accident,” I thought.
Ninety-two people were onboard American Airlines Flight 11 and 65 onboard United Airlines Flight 175.
At 8:30 a.m. that morning, President George Bush, speaking from Florida, pledged the United States would hunt down the guilty parties.
A few minutes later a third plane, this one American Flight 77 with 64 people onboard, crashed into the Pentagon in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.
Evacuations of the U.S. Capitol and the west wing of the White House followed. The Federal Aviation Administration banned all aircraft takeoffs in the United States and ordered all planes to land.
At 8:50 a.m., the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.
At about 9 a.m., a passenger on board United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco called an emergency operator and said the plane was being hijacked. It crashed about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh with 45 people onboard.
The north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed about 30 minutes later.
Next week, hopefully, we will all pause in remembrance of 9/11 and the almost 3,000 killed on that dreadful day in U.S. history.
It all seems like yesterday. The memories of that day are strong, in our minds and in our hearts.
We will never forget the pictures, the people running for their lives, the screams, the tears, the anger, the rescue workers.
America was changed – forever.
The night of September 11, 2001, President Bush, back in Washington, D.C., vowed to punish the “evil acts.”
His speech was one I will always remember. Here’s a portion.
President Bush prayed that those grieving and those in fear would be comforted by a greater power.
He read Psalm 23 - “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”
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