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Where Were You Tuesday Morning September 11, 2001?

September 11 Retrospective
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: (SEPTEMBER 11 RETROSPECTIVE) A firefighter breaks down after the World Trade Center buildings collapsed September 11, 2001 after two hijacked airplanes slammed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

There are dates so profound that we always remember where we were and what we were doing when certain events happened.

I’m old enough to remember where I was when Kennedy was shot and I remember where I was when Lincoln was shot.

Well maybe not that last one. But I did know people who saw Lincoln in person as children.

I was sitting at the end of my bed, having my first cup of coffee getting ready for work, when the wife came in and turned on the TV just in time for me to see the plane hit the second tower.

I didn’t know it at the time but in those few seconds the world we knew died that day and a whole new world was born.

Goodbye America

On that fateful day newspapers all over the world proclaimed that “Today We Are All Americans.” Which lasted for about a week.

In the coming days and weeks we’d welcome a new world of prejudice, a world of fear, a world of mistrust, and a world of confusion.

And military action overseas — again.

Then the old prejudices and societal norms took their rightful place at the top of our minds again and it was business as usual — only now we had a color chart of how dangerous things were on any given day.

A chart few could understand and almost no one paid any attention to. We knew the difference between Defcon 1 and Defcon 5 five from the movies.

Who knew what orange meant?

Some 16 years later the colors are gone. The bulk of terrorist attacks are all on foreign shores.

But we still don’t feel as safe as we did on September 10, 2001.

Some Final Thoughts

Each year polls are done on this date to see if people feel more or less safe. Conspiracy theories may be with us for centuries. Was it an inside job? Was it the Russians? Was it Saudi Arabia? Osama bin Laden?

Whoever it was, it happened. Over three thousand people left home that day and didn’t come back.

Let’s try to give this date the reverence and remembrances it deserves. Where were you that morning?

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