Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where were you?

Everybody is blogging about 9/11 today which is only natural. We all want to remember that day, and commiserate a little. After only six years the fear and rage have faded almost completely on the part of the American people. That's probably a good thing, unless it means we have become less vigilant or have forgotten the heroes of that day, and of course the victims.

Events like these are always described as ones where you always remember where you were the moment they occurred.

I was in a conference room in a week-long training meeting in a two-story office building in Eagan right under a flight path to MSP. You get used to the planes flying directly as they come every few minutes, passing low enough that you can see the detail of the bottom of the jetliners if you are outside.

That Tuesday morning, someone ran into the room and told us to turn on the TV. We watched the first building on fire on a large projection-screen TV. When the second plane hit we all knew that this was the beginning of an attack on America.

The most eery and memorable thing about that day wasn't watching the buildings burn and collapse, as that didn't set in for a while. The most memorable aspect of that day for me was the connection of the attacks being captured on TV hundreds of miles away and the fact that all air traffic came to an abrupt stop here in Minneapolis.

Being that close to the airport, there is usually some sort of constant airliner-related noise, but on that day and into the night, the skies went eerily quiet when we stepped outside there in Eagan and that evening at home.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 put America on pause that day.

I will never forget the silence of the skies that day, which was only broken late that night when we heard a fighter jet high above our home. We were comforted knowing that our armed forces were patrolling while we slept with our families, grateful to be together that night.

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