Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of our generation’s defining moment.
The day our world stood still.
The day we watched the unexpected happen.
The day the security disappeared.
The day they tore the Towers down!
Point2Ponder When’s the last time you knew exactly where you were when something horrific happened?”
I remember exactly how I heard about the first Tower being hit.
My children’s mother called me to say a small plane had accidentally crashed into the World Trade Tower.
First thought was—it had steered off course and a piper plane had veered into one of the Towers.
It was newsworthy, but… nothing to be worried about.
We had been all the way up those Towers—our two families, mine and my brother Paul’s.
It had been a family trip from their home in Mechanicsburg, PA to NYC with his 3 kids and our 3 kids in a rented van.
Memories were made—knishes, FAO Schwartz, doughnuts on the street, parking under the World Tower…
And… taking 3 elevators to make it up to the Top level—and walking outside, feeling the Tower sway with the wind.
Spooky yet exhilarating!
My kids could not stop talking about that trip—it opened their eyes to New York City!
They were bitten!
And NYC became a favorite for all 3 of them.
So…that was their only frame of reference until September 11th, 2001.
I was taking my best friend Ellen Bullard to chemo therapy.
She was fighting for her life—stomach cancer.
She later lost her battle, but that day is etched in my mind forever, spending it with her.
Once we arrived at her appointment, we walked in to a crowd gathered around the TV—just as the 2nd Tower was hit!
We all gasped—and we all knew—this was NOT an accident!
We were under attack!
This was new for all of us—on our soil? That was a first!
And yet—we all knew—we were 20 miles away from MacDill Air Force Base—Central Command!
I took Ellen home, settled her in, and she said “Bud, go take care of those scared babies of yours—they need their Papa!”
I remember the rest of the day—making sure they were safe with their mom.
And watching live TV of all of it happening—to us—and yet, we were helpless and couldn’t stop one bit of it.
I mostly remember the sound of “Thump”!
It took a few moments for all watching to realize—
It was the sound of the bodies who had hit the awnings and the cars underneath…
The people were jumping to their deaths while the Towers were still up!
And we couldn’t do a thing but just sit in horror—watching them leap to their death.
And we all felt so vulnerable—and so helpless!
We didn’t find out until days later the immortal words “Let’s Roll!” from Todd Beamer on Flight 93! So inspiring.
And yet—I kept thinking how thankful I was that we had cell phones so we could know what was happening before…we couldn’t!
People got to call family members and say goodbye.
Messages were left that immortalized voices and feelings and desperation and … true love!
Yes—True Love was heard in each voice mail left—how much they were loved and how much they would be missed.
And 13 years later—they are still so loved and still so missed!
And each anniversary, as the bell rings for each Tower—I remember all over again—where I was when Life changed forever!