On 9-11-2001, when the first tower was struck, I was dead asleep, comfortably. I was halfway through the second month in my new job, right out of residency. I’d worked the 7p-7a on Sept 10th, and it was just another day.
My wife woke me up, as when she’d gotten home from the school run she’d turned on the TV and heard about the first plane. “A plane has hit one of the World Trade Center towers, you need to see this” is what I recall her saying, and even though I was about 45 minutes into sleep I thought ‘it has to be a light plane, bad weather, somebody trying to run VFR’, etc. But, I got up.
That’s why I was watching TV when the second plane hit the second tower. It wasn’t a mistake.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I thought about myself briefly. I was still in the Inactive Reserve then and had joked, until that moment, that “it’d take an Act of Congress to bring me back to active duty”, and I immediately realized Congress was going to be ready to do a lot of things in response to this attack.
And then, I had exactly the same response as everyone else who didn’t lose a loved one: shock, anger, disbelief. Amusement at the line of people at the gas station in Midland, and wondering what the future would bring. Sadness a the loss of life in the planes, the first responders, in the buildings. Senseless loss and death brought to us by barbarians who hate us.
I’m quite disappointed in the TSA security theater when I fly today, unhappy that the `100% bag matching’ doesn’t work, and sad that we’re all inured to the realization this is the best our government can do, or has the will to do.
Prayers for the dead, and those who lost. Respect and Love for those who defend us, and hope we’ve learned enough to prevent a recurrence.