On this day four years ago, I was sitting at my desk preparing for my normal run of Tuesday conference calls. The first one began at 8:45 and was over fairly quickly - less than 15 minutes. At 8:46, the first plane flew into Tower 1. As news began to spread around my office area about "some kind of plane accident" some of us began to filter into a nearby conference room to see if they had any information about it on television.
Between 9:00 and 9:30, the day changed dramatically as my co-workers and I watched events unfold. Eyes fixated and mouths open.......we were in time to catch the live news report on a second plane crashing into Tower 2. We all knew at that very moment that this was not a freak accident. We were under attack.
As if those two plane crashes were not enough, at 9:43, our amazement and bewilderment grew as we learned that another plane had just crashed into the Pentagon. At the moment of hearing that information, a few folks left the conference room abruptly - too much information and it had overwhelmed them. Then........at 10:10, Flight 93 plunged into a field in Pennsylvania. Was this part of the attack too or just some horrible coincidence? Later in the day, we were told that all four planes were part of a terroristic attack against our nation.
Early estimates had the casualty counts at 20000+.
I can tell you that on that day - maybe like many others - my bewilderment turned to anger. I thought, if there was another time to use our nuclear technology, this was the day. How much worse could it get before we would use it? Who is responsible for this madness? Those who did this to us must pay.
Of course, we would soon find out who did this to us. Osama bin Laden gloated on worldwide televisions how successful his foot soldiers were in attempting to destroy America. He gloated on how much blood was spilled and how many lives were lost.
It was only 7 months into George Bush's term when he was called to lead the nation through this devastating event. While not a Bush supporter by any means, I felt his anger on that day when he stood amongst the wreckage with the firefighters - "And the people who did this will hear all of us soon". I truly felt that this man would get the person/people who did this.
In the four years that have followed we have seen the war in Afghanistan and the search for Osama bin Laden manifest into an unrealistic and unnecessary war in Iraq. Past mistakes of his father led George Bush into a vengeful pursuit of a cowardly dictator. Was it about oil? No....I don't think so. Look at oil prices today compared to four years ago.........I believe it was 1.25 a gallon at most. This was about cleaning up what his father could not finish.
Today, Saddam is now waiting for his trial to begin and many American soldiers lives have been lost. Afghanistan is under new leadership with a new constitution and a new direction.
Osama bin Laden, the man to blame for one of the worst attacks on American soil, is still free. He is still spewing his hatred against American's and continuing to plot another surprise attack on us. He is gloating even today as he watches us pay tribute to those who lost their lives in this tragedy.
If you ask my friends, they will tell you that I think that the footage of the planes going into the Twin Towers should be shown once a week. We cannot become numb to what occurred on 9/11 and we cannot forget about the man who did this to us. We cannot forget the fear, sadness and anger that we felt on that day.
Today, we remember and account for all of the lives that were lost in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11th 2001. May they all continue to rest in peace.