Bleary-eyed and still swallowed within the oversized, age-softened T-shirt that served as pajamas, I walked downstairs to find my dad in his uniform, stopped at his desk and only halfway absorbed in the ritual of preparing for work — a daily routine of snapping on a watch, grabbing his keys and fumbling with several duffel-bags that only in adulthood I realized carried guns.
He still looked shocked by the news.
“Turn on the TV, kiddo. There’s history happening.”
It was Sept. 11, 2001, and not knowing that those words would echo in my head still 11 years later, I hugged my dad as he went out the door heading for the station and trudged back upstairs to my parents’ room where my mom was glued to the TV.
Only minutes later, a second plane banked into view.
Confused and wondering if I’d stumbled into the last minutes of an action flick, I watched as the second tower took a crunching hit and exploded on camera.
The gravity of what happened didn’t strike me until later in the day. There were people in both those planes, people in both those buildings and people in uniform responsible for saving any and all lives possible. People, like my dad, who strapped on a badge and a gun every morning before heading out the door.
Eleven years ago now, at 5:30 p.m., the nation was only just beginning to grasp the reality of the early morning events and still trying to pull itself together in mourning to overcome.
Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001?