9/11 + 21 years

I still remember 9/11/2001 like it was yesterday. 

I was working at Toyota’s corporate headquarters in Erlanger, Kentucky that Tuesday morning. The weather was sunny and pleasantly autumn-like. The previous weekend, I had attended my 15-year high school class reunion, and had a wonderful time. All was right with the world, or at least all was right with my little corner of it.

When the first plane hit the World Trade Center, most of us assumed that it was an accident of some kind. Then the second plane hit. Then came the news of an airliner striking the Pentagon. 

We now knew that something horrible and coordinated was underway. Like everyone else in my office that morning, I set my work aside, and turned my full attention to the news.

My father was still only in his fifties and still working at the time. The previous day, he had flown to Las Vegas to participate in a trade show. I called my mother to make sure that he was all right. Of course he was, as he was on the ground in a convention center in Nevada when the attacks were carried out. 

But thousands of other people weren’t so lucky. They were either at the wrong place at the wrong time, or their loved ones were.

I’m occasionally surprised to meet young adults who either weren’t yet born on 9/11/2001, or who were barely alive and unaware of the news at the time. But then, it has been twenty-one years, hasn’t it?  

Nearly three thousand innocent lives were taken on 9/11/2001. Many of those people would still be with us today. The anniversary of 9/11 should therefore be a solemn occasion, and a day to remember those we lost that day…even if it has been 21 years.