"2001 - One hundred twenty-five Pentagon employees, including 42 Sailors and Department of the Navy civilians, are killed along with 59 airline passengers when terrorists fly a highjacked airliner into the Pentagon."
Seven years later
It is amazing to me that 7 years have gone by since the towers fell, the Pentagon was hit, and Flight 93 fell to glory. I have gotten married, had kids, changed jobs, moved out of the first house we owned and I still haven't had the privilege of kicking Usama Bin Laden hard in the nuts.
What is the obvious thing to write about? Why answering the first question anyone asks, where were you on Der Tag?
It was a Tuesday morning. I was at work in a meeting dealing with a technical issue that seemed incredibly important at the time. No one came and told us anything, but when we walked out of the meeting, there were TVs everywhere (little personal black and white portables). And people were staring at them in shock. I remember sitting at my desk and trying to get to CNN's web page, but the network was dead slow. I don't think we got much work done that day. After staring in disbelief at the developing story, I eventually got hungry, so I went out to grab some lunch and pick up the engagement ring for my then girlfriend, soon to be fiance (and now the mother of my immortality). When I got back to work, I couldn't get in my normal gate-there was a cop blocking access. I finally found a gate where they were letting people in, but we had to show our badge (never had to before) and there were cops there too. [explanation: I work for a company that builds numerous aviation/defense products, so they decided they were high on the target list and screamed for help-silly businessmen]. I think I called the woman at her desk, then called back to the house, where both my future mother-in-law and my friend Metron were hanging out (he surfs the internet so I don't have to). I called my commanding officer, who told me to sit tight. I called my parents. Couldn't figure out what else to do at work (although we were immediately bullshitting ideas for invading Afghanistan or maybe just nuking the planet), so I went home (past our new armed guards).
Did I mention that I had just signed up for flight lessons? My timing, as always, was perfect.
None of us could figure out what to do at home (I think I watched the towers fall about 50 times that day), so we trekked out to a local brewpub for dinner and that most important food, beer. Lots of other folks seemed to have the same idea. Must be some sort of defense mechanism (when attacked, fall back, circle the wagons, and drink). We watched the President's speech that night at the pub. Went home, went to bed (after staring at the pictures from that day again on my computer-ain't the internet wonderful?).
Woke up the next morning, found the flag, figured out how to approximate half mast, and flew it every day that way for 30 days (day and night).
Still seems unreal even after all this time.
My biggest regret is that I did not stop to see the World Trade Center when I was in New York City in August of 2001.
Here a links to web pages celebrating the anniversary:
Don't You F'ing Forget (from Wired's Danger Room Blog)
And from This Day in Naval History: