September 11, 2001 was supposed to have been the kick-off for our company
I checked the news on the internet. At that point, it still wasn’t clear what was going on. I read what I could online and then went back to work. Some of the other people turned on a TV and continued to watch. Of course, it wasn’t too much later when shouts rang thru the department. Another plane had hit the second tower.
I went out and joined the small crowd of people huddled around the TV. The images were both riveting and horrifying. Finally, I couldn’t stand seeing people falling from the towers, forced to choose between plummeting to their deaths or being burned to death. I went back into my office.
Not too long after that, another co-worker rushed in. “The first tower just collapsed. I watched it happen on the TV.” I rejoined the crowd in front of the TV. They already had video of the planes hitting the towers. We watched the replays of the first tower’s collapse. Despite the horror, after so many impossible, unimaginable things had happened, you couldn’t help but keep watching. While we were watching, the second tower came down. I saw it live on TV.
Needless to say,
Former U.S. Representative Richard Pombo used to tell his September 11 story. He was personally taking a group of constituents on a tour of the U.S. Capitol. They were at the very top of the rotunda. They watched as a plane circled the city and came in low. It disappeared from view and smoke started rising from the Pentagon. As Pombo used to tell the story, “It suddenly occurred to us that we probably ought to get out of the Capitol.”
I suppose people naturally connect to a tragedy like this by seeking some aspect that they can relate to. If you didn’t know someone who was directly affected, then you empathize with people from your home state who were affected. It didn’t take long for the local news to start finding stories about victims who were native Minnesotans, or Minnesotans who escaped from the towers, or the Minnesotan who vainly tried to regain control of the plane over
In 2001, both of my kids were in the hospitality business. My son had just moved to