Today is the anniversary of one of those days that everyone remembers where they were when the news reached their ears.
For me, I was at work. Due to a cell phone restriction in the facility where I worked, none of the regular employees got a call from home informing us of the tragedy and ongoing drama unfolding on the televisions at home.
However, we had a technician in our building who was there to work on a piece of equipment we were having problems with. He received the call. He was standing next to me when the call came through. We immediately tried to log onto a news website, but they were all jammed up with traffic and minute-by-minute breaking news updates.
I called the guy in charge of our entire facility, and he was able to get in touch with his wife. I called Chip, who I was engage to at the time - just a month away from marrying - and we talked through his tears as he described what he was seeing live on TV.
We spoke with our company's home office, just one hour's drive from NYC, to see if we could glean any additional news, but they didn't seem to know any more than we did.
We stopped work and had a meeting with all of the employees to tell them everything we knew - everything that the news was reporting at that time. It was a day that work continued, but not like any other day. We were all walking around in a fog trying to wrap our minds around the horrific events that had been described to us.
We were unaware just how much life had changed. We knew our sense of what was right and what we had assumed to be true was rocked, but it would take a few days - even weeks - for us to really realize the horrors of the world we live in. We would, however, also get to see the beauty of humanity as people opened their arms and hearts to complete strangers both next door and on the opposite side of the world.
This morning as I described the events of this day 11 years ago to our 6 year old (in terms that I hoped he could understand), I was reminded not only of the fear that gripped me that day, but in the faith in humanity reaching out to one another in the face of a travesty. I was reminded not only of the evil that exists, but also of the good.
For the sake of those lost on this day in 2001 and in the days to follow, I hope that the goodness it was endures.
Where were you on that fateful day? What is your story?