I remember exactly where I was 10 years ago. We were living in Atlanta. I had gotten TCD off to first grade and dropped Spell GIrl off at pre-school. By 8:45am, I was just finishing my class at the gym and was headed to the nursery to pick up 15-month-old June. I walked past a row of treadmills that was totally silent and still even though they were filled with people. It was the eeriest thing I've ever seen to look at those people standing completely still on those treadmills with their eyes glued to the television in the corner of the room. It was obvious something was very wrong. I think I asked someone what was happening, but at the time, all they knew was that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. June and I got home about 5 minutes later and turned on the TV just in time to see the second plane hit Tower 2. For the next several hours, I didn't move from the Today show. I watched Matt Lauer and Katie Couric reporting the awful details of the rest of the morning.
My first call was to my husband who was being evacuated out of his Atlanta office. I asked him to pick up the girls from school on his way home so that all of our chickens would be safely accounted for. My second call was to my sister-in-law whose husband is a pilot for Southwest Airlines and was flying that day. For a few minutes we didn't know where he was, but later we found out that his flight had been immediately grounded to the nearest airport. He was detained several days longer than expected, but very definitely safe. Our next call was to Pittsburgh where another brother's family was living at the time. And finally I called my parents in Houston. It was a great relief to know that all of our family was safe.
Ten years later, it is still just as horrific and unreal as it was that Tuesday morning in Atlanta. I cannot imagine what the past ten years have been like for the families of the victims, the survivors, the people of New York. The details of that day are as vivid and clear for me now as they were ten years ago, and I didn't know a single person involved.
At the end of one of the many memorial commercials I saw today, it said,
"Never Forgotten. Forever Grateful."
I LOVE that. Today, I am grateful for the many, many heroes of that day and the days since 9/11. I'm grateful to live in a country that continues to have hope and motivation even after devastation. And I'm grateful that there are days like these when we can stop and remember.