I was at work the day the planes hit, Phoenix was five months old, we had just sold our condo, our house was not finished being built and we were to be moving to a hotel until the house was complete.
I was working on my computer engrossed in a project when a coworker yelled from an adjacent office,
"Tracy just called and said a plane hit the World Trade Center". Both of us dismissed it as an innocent accident and we both assumed it was probably a small plane that somehow got off course. When Tracy called the second time to tell us of the second plane we knew something was terribly wrong. Other people in the office started receiving calls from friends and family and before we knew it a spouse had brought is a TV and we all (it was a small office) gathered around the conference room table and watched in complete horror the events unfold that morning. As we got news of each additional plane I realized I had no idea where my father was, and could easily had been on any of those planes, the horror I felt was unimaginable. I called my brother and asked him if he knew what dad's schedule was, and he said he did not. I called his work and got a hold of his assistant. I had never met Debbie before, bit I no sooner said this is Sho...and she blurted out, he's here, he's safe. But he had the unfortunate task of telling a class of New Yorkers he was teaching the terrible news.
We had already though we had seen the absolute worse that could happen and all watched in disbelief as that first tower came down. It never occured to any of us (and I was in room of structural engineers, just imagine the conversations) that the second tower could come down, and when it did, well...as many of you were feeling as you watched, the feelings and emotions and palpable feel of that room was indescribable. I know I sat there thinking, we are for all intents and purposes under attack, and the feelings of uncertainty and of what would come next was the absolute worse I have ever felt. Nothing, with the exception of the events in New Orleans when the levee breached, has ever come close to the feelings I had not only that day but for the months that followed.
Although the feelings of horror and helplessness was so prevalent for so many months there were times I felt ever so proud to be an American. When the story of passengers on United Flight 93 unfolded, I was amazed, and full of pride, and often felt myself wondering as a new mom what would I have felt or done if I was on that plane. The selfless unrelenting determination of the first responders and rescuers moved me to tears every day, but not just them, the stories of the clean up crews at ground zero who hadn't been home in weeks, hadn't seen their families, and said they would not go home until they were done moved me to tears. Even the news media profoundly affected, I cannot imagining having to uphold the highest level of professionalism, and objectivity, as they had to cover one of the most horrific events in American History, and I guess as I watched the news every day I never realized how hard it must be for them until a CNN reporter broke down in tears as she was reporting from the street, she had went down there to cover one angle, but once she got there and she realized the story of the people was more important and urgent she changed her plans, and it obviously deeply affected her.
As I mentioned above, we had to move into a hotel. Can I tell you, that was the worse time to not have a place to call home, not to be grounded. It was awful, and uncertain it was miserable. We moved into our house in November and we were relieved more than anything.
I had decided to create a time capsule for Phoenix's first year, it quickly turned into a 55 gallon tote, we put every newspaper, magazine, pictures we took around town in that tote..her time capsule. I've never opened back up, bust as she gets more curious as she gets older I suspect we will go through it.
America lost so much that day, and so many families are still sacrificing as they send their sons and daughters oversees to fight to protect us and our ideals in the middle east.
I'm grateful to the amazing brave service men and women and other law enforcement personnell who have kept us safe the last 10 years.
I am also proud to be an American and proud how we come together when we need to despite our differences!