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Looking towards Ground Zero as dump trucks line the streets. October 10, 2001

Have We Forgotten 9/11?

No lie, today is a tough day. As a nation, we’re recovering from not one, but 2 hurricanes. Portions of Texas are still complete disaster zones, awaiting relief from FEMA and more, as funds are running out. We’re about 24 hours away from finding out just how bad the devastation in Florida is after a long weekend.  Irma continues to pound many southern states with winds and rain that could cause more damage.  And as a nation, we are more politically divided than ever before. 

But wait. What day is it?  September 11? Remember that day we’d never forget? Have we indeed forgotten?

Indeed, there’s a lot on our minds today. Admittedly, the first thing in my mind when they cut into programming this morning, was that they had an update on more storm devastation. Then they cut to the moment of silence. It’s not that I forgot, it’s just that I was distracted. We all are. What frustrated me more was how few people there seemed to be in attendance at the different ceremonies, especially in Pennslyvania. 

I do remember that day vividly. I wasn’t in radio at the time. I was one day away

Building on the outskirts of Ground Zero.

from flying out to NYC for a conference when my mom woke me from a deep sleep saying she didn’t think I was going, as a plane just hit the World Trade Center. In my half-awake daze, I shook it off thinking it was a small prop jet, and mom was just being mom.  I fell back asleep for just moments till my brother in law called in a panic asking for a ride to the base, as he was in the National Guard. It finally hit me something major was going on. I got out of bed, turned on the TV, and woke up to a very different world. 

 

As we went through the next few weeks and months, as a country, we came together stronger than ever. That feeling has long gone away in this country, and that bothers me. I’m not denying, over the 3 presidencies since, policies have changed dramatically, and the world changed dramatically. But the place we’re at now, is frankly scary, especially with the amount of hate that has exploded more recently.

It’s sad that it takes tragedy and disaster for us to come together, as one country.  

Effects of the explosion on a truck parked blocks away.

So, do something important today. Remember that fateful day 16 years ago, and talk about it with family and friends. Talk about the unity in the face of tragedy. Remember what that felt like. Let’s come together again.

 

As a post note, the conference was rescheduled for a month later, and it was a very eerie, odd experience. Attendance was unsurprisingly drastically down at the conference. Most of us did take a moment to head down to Ground Zero, and it was indescribable.  I remember my significant other trying to call me, and when I finally did answer, it just felt wrong to be on the phone. Maybe it was just in my head, but in a noisy city, it was strangely quiet around there. I still can’t believe I was supposed to fly there the day after. See some of the photos I took below.

What’s your 9/11 story? Please share.

 

The Firehouse of Engine 54, Ladder 4.

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