Saturday, September 11, 2004

Never Forget!!!

I remember driving into work. It was somewhere between 7:30 - 8:00 cst. I was listening to some CD that I had put together and was performing my morning concert in my truck to entertain the other drivers. I walked into the office and logged onto my PC. Someone walked by and mentioned that they had heard that some idiots plane hit some building in New York. I thought that was a rather odd thing, so I tried to check out or to get some info on it before my workday began. I couldn't get to either site. I tried a couple other news sites, but they too were inaccessible. I thought it was strange that I was able to get to any other site, but not any of these news sites. At the time, it didn't click. I reached over and flipped on my radio to try and see if I could catch any info there. That was when I first heard what had happened. Details were still not clear at 8:55, but something seemed out of place with what had just happened.

I walked over to our Help Desk are and there was no one around. I glanced over and saw some people standing in a conference room staring at something. I strolled over and saw that they were looking at a TV. I recall walking into that room and standing there with these people. I am unable to remember who was actually in that room. I remember standing there as the 2nd plane hit and we screamed. I remember holding hands with people whose names I did not know and whose faces I do not remember. Time stood still. I was mesmerized by the tragic events that had just happened.

My work day was to start at 8:00. Around 8:45 I walked out of that conference room and over to my desk to make a phone call. I called home to let my wife know that she should flip on the TV as something big had just happened in NY. I then went back to the TV. It was within the next few minutes that I knew what I was witnessing was going to change our history. I recalled the morning a few years earlier when I woke up and flipped on the TV to watch some morning TV and I caught the breaking story on the Oklahoma City bombing. I remember being glued to that TV and not caring about anything else that day. That was how I was feeling, only this time I was not at home. I watched the first building fall a couple minutes after 9:00. I was frozen. I could hardly breathe. I could hardly stand. I just stood in awe of what I had just seen. The room was silent. Nobody spoke, nobody moved, and nobody left. Real life just took precedence over work. We all stood there for about a half hour when the 2nd tower collapsed.

I made my way back to my desk around 10:00. I was supposed to make a bunch of phone calls to schedule some training sessions with some new customers. I didn't feel like talking to anyone. We are normally a fairly busy call-center, but on this morning the phones were eerily silent. I listened as people talked about what was going on and discussed their theories on what had happened. They referenced spouses who were at home and had "heard" something on another channel. They talked about things they had heard from some of the customers that had called in. This was the last place I wanted to be.

I made it through my day and left work at 4:30. I remember my drive home seemed to take forever, yet there was less traffic than normal. I pulled in my driveway, ran in my house and just hugged my wife. I woke up both of my sons, one who was not even a month old yet, and scooped them both up and just buried them in my arms. THIS was what I wanted. THIS was what I needed. THIS was what I NEVER wanted to lose.

It was softball night for me. I had a couple of games to play that evening. I wasn't really in the mood to play, but we went anyways because the other players are close friends of ours. I remember that as we pulled in the parking lot of the field, the majority of the team was standing around. The other guys on this team were younger than I. Most were 21 or 22, while I was sitting just below the radar at 29. As we climbed out of our car, the President was getting ready for his speech. All conversations stopped. All vehicles were turned off, with the exception on the radios which were turned up and windows rolled down. We all stood there and listened to the powerful message that he spoke that day. I remember standing there with these guys, construction workers, masons, and roofers; watching the tears, watching the frustration.

When President Bush was finished, we made our way up the softball fields. The other team was there and was ready to play as well. Those 2 games may have been the most fun have ever had playing softball. For 2 hours, we were given a chance to forget about what we had seen earlier. Although it had been forgotten, it had changed people. Nobody argued a call. Nobody talked any trash. Nobody cared about the score. We were just enjoying the opportunity to play ball and have a good time. I can't tell you who won those games. That may not seem like a big deal, but I can tell you the score of every other game that season and each season since. It didn't seem to matter. We normally shake hands with the other team afterwards. For some reason, hugs were given instead.

I saw a change in myself that day. I saw a change in many of my friends. I did not know anyone who was in NYC, nor do I know anyone who had any friends or relatives who were there. My heart still goes out to everyone who was impacted. I guess that if something like this can affect me, when I had no ties to anyone there, I cannot fathom what I would have done had I lost a friend or family in this event.

Although the details of that day may start to fade, this day will always be remembered. Each year, as September approaches and I begin to fill in appointments on my calendar, I pause momentarily whenever someone mentions the date of Sept. 11th.

May God bless those that have suffered losses and may God bless those that continue to grieve.
And may God bless my wonderful friends, loving family, dedicated co-workers, and the incredibly resilient people of this country!!!

On Monday

On Monday we emailed jokes
On Tuesday we did not

On Monday we thought that we were secure
On Tuesday we learned better

On Monday we were talking about heroes as being athletes
On Tuesday we relearned who our heroes are

On Monday we were irritated that our rebatechecks had not arrived
On Tuesday we gave money away to people we had never met

On Monday there were people fighting against praying in schools
On Tuesday you would have been hard pressedto find a school where someone was not praying

On Monday people argued with their kids aboutpicking up their room
On Tuesday the same people could not get homefast enough to hug their kids

On Monday people were upset that they had towait 6 minutes in a fast food drive through line On Tuesday people didn't care about waitingup to 6 hours to give blood for the dying

On Monday we waved our flags signifying ourcultural diversity
On Tuesday we waved only the American flag

On Monday there were people trying to separateeach other by race, sex, color and creed
On Tuesday they were all holding hands

On Monday we were men or women, black or white,old or young, rich or poor, gay or straight,Christian or non-Christian.
On Tuesday we were Americans

On Monday politicians argued aboutbudget surpluses
On Tuesday grief stricken they sang'God Bless America'

On Monday the President was going to Florida to read to children
On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children

On Monday we had families
On Tuesday we had orphans

On Monday people went to work as usual
On Tuesday they died

On Monday people were fighting the tencommandments on government property
On Tuesday the same people all said"God help us all' while thinking'Thou shall not kill'

It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place things into perspective, but it has. The lessons learned on September 11th,the things we have taken for granted, the things that have been forgotten or overlooked, hopefully will never be forgotten again.


Author Unknown


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