Everyone remembers where they were when that gorgeous morning was torn into a million pieces.
I was in our house in Woodbridge with Jonathon, about 3 1/2 weeks old, Nicholas at 18 months and Rebecca at almost 4 years. It really was a gorgeous fall day outside. Ian was at work at the AP, a few blocks down from the Capitol in Washington DC. He called and told me to turn on the news. Footage was replaying about a plane that had rammed into one of the twin towers in New York. The speculation was a terrible accident, but the footage just didn't fit to me. I told him I didn't think it was an accident at all.
The second plane collided. We can all readily recall the chaos that swept the City from there.
When the Pentagon was hit I think we settled into a daze. What was going on?
And then it seemed random that a plane came down in a field in Shanksville, PA, almost an afterthought, an aside. A tragedy, true, but the horror of watching the twin towers collapse split screen with the smoke billowing from the crushed side of the Pentagon overwhelmed anything happening in an empty field.
Of course we know better now. The people on United Flight 93 sacrificed themselves and saved hundreds, possibly thousands. The theory is the plane was turning towards the Capitol, we'll never really know, but if that's true then Ian came home safely that day thanks to the people who overcame the odds. One of those people was my uncle.
Today is a rainy, dreary, chilly day. A fitting day to take a moment and say Thanks, in memory of those who lost their lives and touched all of ours.