Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where Were You?

It's hard to believe it's been 11 years since that terrible day in 2001. Just like previous generations who remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, or when President Kennedy was killed in 1963, most of us have 9/11/01 burned into our memories.

It began as a normal day. I was the secretary for my township police department and was just getting settled in. I logged onto my computer and sat down at my desk with a cup of coffee, then started organizing the police reports from the previous day so I could enter them into our database. The phone rang and when I answered it, one of the patrolman's wives said, "Quick. Turn on the TV."

I went out to the squad room where the TV was already on and tuned to one of the morning news shows. The first plane had already hit one of the towers and we all speculated on what had gone wrong with the jet. We thought it was a tragic accident--that the plane malfunctioned somehow. Terrorism never crossed our minds.

And then the world changed forever. While we watched, the second tower was hit. Then the Pentagon. Then Flight 93 was brought down only 90 miles away. The weeks that followed were a blur. We locked down the station. Keys were no longer left in the police cars in the lot. There were numerous phone calls of suspicious activity, suspicious persons, and suspicious packages and mail. The officers had to investigate them all.

When I look back now, it all seems a little unreal. Unfortunately, it wasn't.

What were you doing that day?  

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