NOTE: In short, this is my recollection of 9/11/2001
It was Tuesday, September 11, 2001
The day started just like any other day.
I got up at 7 AM and began getting ready to go to work.
I was living with my parents in Alabama at that time, and I was thinking of buying a house of my own in Huntsville.
I was now 25, and it looked as though I would beat my problems with Spina Bifida—So, I was thinking of moving to Huntsville.
Papa, Mom, and I all worked for the same company.
Papa was President of the Huntsville location, Mom was Vice -President of her department, and I was the I.T. Admin.
On this particular day, I rode into work with Papa.
Mom had stayed at a hotel the night before.
She and all the other department heads were going to Mississippi for a meeting, and they were heading out from the Corporate Office in Birmingham. So, they had stayed at a local hotel.
Papa and I both met at the vehicle, and we headed out to Huntsville.
I remember that Papa and I were discussing work and, more importantly, where we would eat for lunch that day.
We often had lunch together.
Mom called and told Papa that a small plane had hit one of the World Trade Center Towers. She was asking Papa if she should just come back home. She said she felt something else was going on.
I can still hear her asking, “How can a plane not see that great big building?” Still, Papa told her to go on to Mississippi.
We often listened to talk radio when riding together.
And on that day, I believe we listened to the “Rick and Bubba morning show.”
From the radio, we found out that it was not a Small plane but a big passenger plane— a commercial aircraft that had hit the first World Trade Center Tower.
I started getting a feeling that mom was right.
I remember asking Papa if he thought it had happened on purpose.
We got on I-565 heading towards Huntsville when we received news that another commercial aircraft had hit the second world trade center tower.
At that time, we knew we were under attack.
All of America knew it.
The world knew it.
I remember so clearly, saying to Papa, “We gotta pray now!”
Papa turned the radio down, and we said a prayer.
Next, we heard that yet another plane appeared to have been hijacked and flown into The Pentagon.
Outloud, I said, “They need to land the planes!”
When we were about to drive in front of the Huntsville International Airport, the radio announcer said, “The FAA has ordered all aircraft to land immediately.”
I remember looking out the car’s passenger window at the Huntsville airport to see if I could see any planes.
Papa, who had been quiet the whole drive, said, “It’s going to be a bad day today, son.”
Huntsville, Alabama, is a High Tech area.—Not a lot of people know that.
We arrived to work late that day.
I remember walking into work and someone saying, “We’re at DEFCON 3!” I had no idea if that was good or bad. I assumed it was terrible.
Because of Redstone Arsenal, all of Huntsville was chaotic. A lot of people who live in Huntsville have families in the military. They have jobs at Redstone Arsenal. They have family members located in New York as well as all over the world.
I remember one co-worker, who is a friend of mine, praying out loud in her office. Her husband was in the military and was in New York. He was scheduled to fly out of New York that morning, and she could not get in touch with him.
She was in her office, on the floor, with her arms raised to Heaven; She screamed out to God, “God, Please! God Please! Oh, God, Don’t let him get on that plane!”
Many people prayed for her husband that day — me being one of them.
In my office, alone, I prayed a lot that day.
Next, we watched as the South Tower fell.
People just…stopped. …Stopped doing whatever it was that they were doing and… just… sat down…
I sat down and said nothing.
We all said nothing…
Someone said out loud that each tower could hold upwards of 30,000 people.
I walked outside.
Once outside, I saw a man standing, with a Bible in his hand, hollering to people, “Repent! For the Kingdom of God is at hand!”
He caught me staring at him, and he said, “Hey!” Then, he ran over to me with his Bible opened up and said, “Read this!”
I read the Book and Verses he asked me to read.
I won’t say what Book of the Bible or what Verses it was. But, know this, on 9/11 2001, if you read that story of the Bible, it might scare you as much as it did me.
I walked away while he continued, “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand!” I think in his mind, the rapture was going to happen within the hour. And I’ll admit, I, too, felt the rapture might happen that day as well.
I went to my office and got my Bible.
I went to my friend’s office and showed her that Book and the verses in the Bible.
She was knowledgeable about the Bible and a Christian. So I trusted her on this.
She said, “No, that’s not what’s happening.” I felt a little better.
Going back to the T.V., I learned that flight 93 had crashed in a field.
I was many miles away from everything happening, but I felt as if I were right in the middle of it all.
We all felt like we were right in the middle of it all.
I was 25, about to be 26, and, next to the Space Shuttle “Challenger,” this was the first national tragedy that I ever went through.
I heard people who had jobs at the Arsenal talking to each other about the Defcon level. To this day, I do not know what DEFCON level we got to on 9/11/2001.
My co-worker said he thought it was Bin Laden.
That was the first time I had ever heard that name. I asked who that was.
“Don’t you keep up with the news?”
I didn’t at that time in my life.
He then asked, “Where is our President?”
That was the first time I had thought about that. Yes! Where was our President? Had he gotten assassinated? Where was he?
Later, we would learn that he was on Air Force One, the only plane in the sky except for the fighter jets escorting him.
Next, the second tower collapsed.
I wasn’t even near where all of this was happening. I felt like I was, though.
We all felt like we were right in the middle of it.
Because we were all Americans, this was an attack on all of us.
We were all brothers and sisters. We all bled the same blood. We were all in this together.
Those were our buildings that fell.
That was our Pentagon that got attacked.
Those were our brothers and sisters on those planes and in those buildings.
We were all in this together.
It wasn’t even noon yet, and all of this had happened.
9/11/2001—It was hell.
None of our lives have been the same since 9/11/2001
The day after, though, the day after 9/11/2001, was also a day I will never forget.
On 9/12/2001, Most Americans were out buying American Flags for their home.