Tuesday, September 11, 2012
On a Day Just Like Today
I was 18. Unemployed and fresh out of high school. I don't recall what I had been doing the night before, but since I had no responsibilities, I slept until some time that afternoon.
I was still living with my parents. I rolled out of my bed and made my way downstairs. I don't remember the exact time, but it was well after noon. I walked into the living room and saw my father sitting on the couch watching TV. I glanced at the screen and saw the now iconic visuals of smoke billowing from the towers. By this time it was replays from earlier in the morning.
It struck me as odd that my father was at home. He was (and still is) a pastor, and his regular day off was Friday and it was Tuesday, well after his lunch hour. Still shaking the cobwebs of sleep from my head, I cocked my head slightly, still glancing at the screen now showing images of the striking one of the towers.
"What's going on?" I asked sleepily.
"Planes hit the Twin Towers." My father replied. There was a tone in his voice that I had only heard a few times in my life prior. It reminded me immediately about the time when I saw in middle school when he pulled me from class along with my younger brother to tell me that my great-uncle has passed away. Once in the car, heading home, he said "I have some sad news..." That was tone.
My first thought, and I think I vocalized this, was "what kind of idiot would do that?" My initial thought, like many others, was that it was some sort of pilot error. Some tragic mistake. That thought faded as I learned of the second plane and the Pentagon attack.
From that moment, I planted myself in front of the TV for the next few hours, absorbing all of the details.
One of the most eerie things about that day was dinner. My parents were having the kitchen remodeled, so we ate dinner in the basement. Just before we were called to the table, the news had started to report news that the events were confirmed terrorist attacks. It was one of the most surreal family dinners our family has ever shared.
Flash forward 4 years. 9/11/05. My wedding day. People have asked on several occasions why we chose "that day" to get married. There are several reasons, many have nothing to do with 9/11. The way I saw it (and still do), it was our small gesture to show that we will move forward. We would not allow those events to hang over our lives like the dark clouds of smoke billowing from the towers. We would always remember those who died that day but most of all, we would never forget to live.