I know I'll never forget that day, and even now, I remember exactly where I was, and exactly what I was doing.
I worked as a dispatch clerk for a large grocery distributor. For some reason, I didn't have all the necessary backhaul paperwork I needed and went into the main headquarters. When I walked in there was a strange vibe and I noticed desks were sitting empty from office to office. I traversed through the maze of hallways, looking for anyone. When I heard a television, I followed the noise. In a large conference room it seemed like the entire force had assembled.
All I could see was smoke engulfing large buildings between the people crowding to see. I thought they were watching a movie at first, because something like that couldn't happen here. Then reports about the Pentagon started. It was so strange. I was sick and completely dumbfounded all at once. I know I must have asked a dozen times if what I was seeing was real. The idea of something so tragic, so monumental happening on such a large scale made me feel like I was in a terrible dream.
The mood of everyone everywhere changed. People were solemn, saddened, and sickened. I'm sure like many, I watched the coverage in hopes of rescuers finding more survivors.
With air traffic suspended, my next worry was about the plane tickets I had purchased for myself and mother for September 13th. We were going to see family across the country and I was worried, not so much about not going as I was worried about safety.
Air travel was reinstated and we could still go, but all I felt was dread. During that flight I had never been so nervous in the air before. The nightmare at the terminal and the events happening was something straight out of a wild science fiction novel. Each bump from turbulence made my stomach queasy and I constantly looked over my shoulder at other passengers.
When we finally made it to our destination, I felt like I could finally breathe. The terrorists not only took away thousands of lives, they also robbed us our peace of mind.
To the thousands of rescuers that continually help those in need, thank you. And to our military men and women who put your lives on the line so that we may enjoy our freedom, thank you so much.