Ten years ago today, the world was forever changed with the brazen and horrific terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Those who were old enough to remember will never forget where they were and what they were doing.
I was on my way to work when I heard of the planes hitting the World Trade Center. My small office was abuzz when I arrived and we all spent the day refreshing the news network websites and trying to contact our families through the overtaxed cellular and phone networks. When the Pentagon was hit, the smoke could be seen from my office 20 miles away.
My partner at the time worked for AOL, which was evacuated before noon due to its close proximity to Dulles Airport. I did leave work early, but around 3:00 or 4:00. I will never forget sitting at one particular traffic light and looking to the right at the car next to me — The woman driver looked at me as well and it was surreal — we both knew what the other was thinking and there was just this profound feeling of sorrow that we wordlessly shared.
It was heartbreaking watching the news that night, and days later, only to learn that there were so few survivors being found in the ruins of the towers. It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around what happened and how anyone could wish death upon so many innocent people. It seems like so long ago, but at the same time it feels just like yesterday.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum will open this weekend at Ground Zero in New York City. The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools were built in the footprints of the Twin Towers and the names of all those lost on that day (and the 6 who died in the attacks in 1993) are inscribed on bronze panels. You can read more about the memorial and reserve a visitor pass on the 9/11 Memorial website.
The attacks on 9/11 were a horrible and shocking act of violence on American soil that changed the world forever. Yet, it also brought out the resilience of the American spirit and our ability to come together in a time of great crisis and grief.
Will you be watching any of the anniversary media coverage? Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories about the attacks and the new memorial in the comments below.