15 Years…

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15 Years
 
I remember waking up to a crisp and clear morning in Marietta, Georgia 15 years ago. To me it was like any other day at that time. I have a routine I follow in the morning and at about 8:47 I sat down to watch TV as I had a bowl of cereal. I turned on the TV to see live news feed from NYC about a plane hitting the WTC. I thought at first it was probably just a sight seeing plane, but learned quickly as I watched it was a passenger jet. I kept thinking to myself, “how do you not see the WTC and accidentally fly into the side of it”? I wasn’t thinking we were under the attack of terrorists, that didn’t happen here. About 15 minutes into the news, as I watched, a second plane flew into the side of the other tower. I still can remember vividly the shock I felt and disbelief. I woke up Evelyn and Eric to tell them what was happening.
 
We sat together watching the towers burn, then about 45 minutes later word came in that a 3rd plane hit the Pentagon. Of course there were false reports of planes hitting the White House and the Capital as well. We watched as people knowing they were dying jumped from high in the tower. It is a sight I will never forget. I remember a news crew talking with one of the fireman and hearing the bodies hit the roof of the building they were standing. You don’t forget things like that. We watched as the towers fell, the faces covered in dust, shocked and lost. We listened as the word came in that a 4th plane had crashed in Pennsylvania.
 
A day that 2977, I don’t count terrorist, died doing nothing more than going to work. They had left their families to earn money to provide for themselves and their families. They would never get to see them again. There were heroes, First Responders who ran into the danger not away from it, that gave their lives doing their jobs, serving their country. I have made every decision possible since that date to keep this country safe. I was 40 years old on that date, I wish I were a younger man for I would have re-enlisted to serve. My hat is off to those that did, many who gave their lives for their beliefs. They didn’t join in protest, they didn’t kneel or sit, they stepped forward and took action for their beliefs. That is what heroes are made of, just like those who ran toward danger not away. Heroes like those who had no choice, who just went to work. To me and to many of my generation, it was our “Day of Infamy”. I will never forget those who sacrificed and died.
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