It’s truly hard to fathom that it has really been 20 years since that fateful September morning when our collective worlds were changed forever. An entire generation has gone by, any child born at that time is now in college. 9/11, for the next generation, will be one of history and images seen…without knowing the raw emotion that we shared living that day.
Every year, I share the story of my morning on Facebook, but on this 20th anniversary of the tragic attacks, I felt it was worth sharing here as well. At the time, I lived in Southern California with my ex-wife, and our daughters. My oldest daughter, Daryn, was in kindergarten, and my youngest, Allyn, was just 2 months old. Today, My oldest is abut to be married and is an amazing nurse, and my youngest is in college in Florida.
It was about 5:45AM in Southern California. At the time, I worked on the air at KBIG-FM in Los Angeles. I had a long drive from our house in Rancho Cucamonga to work at KBIG, which was actually located in the suburb of Glendale. The drive usually took over 2 hours, and I usually left by 6 or 6:15 to be at work by 9. I also had to drop my oldest daughter off at school in Pasadena, where she had just started kindergarten. As we went about our normal morning routine, the TV was on in the background, when a news bulletin flashed across the screen. My ex-wife, Brenda, and I both watched as the reports of the 1st tower had been struck by an airplane. We both thought, “Oh God…what a horrible accident”, and continued to get Daryn ready for school. I turned away for a few moments…only to go back to the TV just as the 2nd tower was struck. At that point, Brenda and I looked at each other, shocked, and I remember saying “This is it…we’ve been attacked”. I wanted to stay and watch the aftermath, but knew I had to get Daryn to school, and then get to the station for a radio show that ultimately never happened…
That morning, the drive seemed like it took forever as I listened to the reports on the radio with Daryn in her car seat behind me. As I sat in traffic on the 210 Freeway, I looked out over the San Gabriel Valley, and saw that there was no activity in the sky, since all planes had been grounded. It was surreal. When I got to Daryn’s school, I dropped her off, knowing that she was perfectly safe. I walked away from her class, and past the school flagpole. The flag was already at half-mast, and several parents and I stopped and looked up at the flag. There were no words spoken. I looked up, and as I walked away, gave the flag a salute…and then made the sign of the cross.
Those memories, will never leave me. No matter our political affiliations, or beliefs…we were united. We were all Americans.