In 2001, I witnessed my first real, memorable tragedy. It was the first historical event that I actually recall.
I was living with my dad and his wife at the time. I had just gotten up and was getting a bowl of cereal before work. As was the norm, the radio in the kitchen was on. As I was pouring my cereal, the radio announcer was saying that the World Trade Center had been bombed. To be completely honest, I had no idea what the World Trade Center or the Twin Towers were. I didn't have an inkling of the magnitude of what I had just heard.
I went downstairs and told my dad about the "bombing." His face was immediately wrought with worry and I instantly became aware that this was bigger than I realized. My dad, you see, was a Vietnam Vet. It's not something he talks about, but his commitment to our country is unwavering. I had never witnessed the look on his face that he had that day.
As I sat down on the couch, my dad turned the TV on. We sat together watching the events unfold. We watched as they played and replayed the second plane crashing into the Twin Towers. We watched as the plane crashed into the Pentagon and as the news of the forth plane crashing in Pennsylvania was delivered. We watched as the towers came crashing down. Even as I watched, I don't think I understood the magnitude of it all. The lives that were lost. The number of people who lost loved ones. The efforts of the fireman, police, military, emergency workers, and your everyday, average person. I will never forget that day.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all those whose lives have been affected by 9/11 and to all those who work so hard protecting our country and freedom each and everyday.