Graphic by Kelly Jensen-Mullins
I remember that morning.
I was out west—Hayward, CA.
In my hotel room that morning I turned on the TV a little after flight 11 crashed into the north tower.
I watched with horror a few minutes later as flight 175 slammed into the south tower, 2 WTC.
I knew instantly our lives would be inexplicably changed forever.
That day is seared into my memory. I was out there to teach a software product but nobody was in a learning frame of mind. We were all shell-shocked from the tragedy unfolding on the east coast.
All aircraft within the continental U.S. were grounded, and aircraft already in flight were told to land immediately.
All international civilian aircraft were either turned back or redirected to airports in Canada or Mexico, and all international flights were banned from landing on U.S. soil for three days. The whole week was a nightmare come true.
The travel agency couldn’t get me back to Tennessee so that Thursday I set out on a west to east drive from Hayward, CA, to Nashville, TN.
I stopped that Sunday in Oklahoma City and visited the recently opened bombing memorial. The memorial fence along the western promenade was already adorned with messages, memorials and memories from the World Trade Center attacks.
September 11 Lights
So ten years later, where are we.
Operational mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammedsits in New Yark awaiting trial after transfer from Guantanamo Bay.
Al-Qaeda founder and spiritual leader Osama bin Laden was killed by a Seal Team 6 operative at the fugitives Pakistan compound on May 2, 2011.
U.S. President George W. Bush responded to the attacks with harsh military responses in Afghanistan, driving the Taliban and Al-Qaeda deep into mountain hideouts. He orchestrated another military incursion into Iraq. The U.S. continues to maintain a significant military presence in both countries.
And me—I’ll never forget the day our lives changes forever.
I’m going to the Oklahoma City memorial today to pay my respects.