The 11th of September, 2001 was a very emotionally draining day for me, and the attack on our great nation was only the half of it.
I had woken up early and I got a good breakfast, for today was my first day of work at McLoed USA. It was my first full-time job since getting home from an LDS Mission; up until then, I had been working many temporary jobs. I can’t remember if someone dropped me off, or if I took the bus, but the building itself was less than 5 miles away from my home. I waited nervously in the lobby with about a dozen other new employees as we waited to be escorted in on our first day. It was about 6:55 am MST, when someone had opened the door for us to enter the call floor, and we were routed into the training room.
Upon entering the training room, the trainer and a couple other managers were sitting aghast with their eyes peeled toward the television hanging in the corner of the room. I couldn’t see the TV yet, so I quickly sat down at a front-row seat on the opposite side of the room so I too could see what they were looking at so intensely. By now it was about 7:00 am MST, and as I sat down, the image on the screen had numbed me from the inside. Was this a movie they were watching? There’s no way this is real! I was looking at a live video image of the World Trade Center and smoke was billowing out of one of them. Before I could figure out what was going on, I screamed as we all watched the second tower get hit by a 767.
After the initial shock had worn off, and after marveling at the images we had all seen on the TV, the managers had decided to close the call center and let us all go home to be with our families, as we didn’t know what to expect for the rest of the day. I didn’t really think about much as I walked home. It took me a while to get home, and when I did, I had quickly learned about the attack on the Pentagon. Then it wasn’t long before the first tower of the World Trade Center had collapsed. Watching it was very surreal. I would replay that clip over and over in my mind for many years to come.
For the rest of the day, I was in sort of a trance. I didn’t really understand everything that was going on; I didn’t really know what the future would hold for me; I was racked with the horror that there might be more attacks, and I had the idea that they would never stop, and that this was the beginning of World War III.
I met up with Dr Squishy for lunch and we just sat there in Burger King for what seemed like forever contemplating what could happen to us. Were we going to be shoveled off to war to fight whoever has picked this fight? Things were uncertain, and that was depressing.
The rest of the week was business as usual, or at least it was attempted business as usual. It took a couple weeks for me to feel less uneasy about the attack. I will never feel completely at ease about what happened. I will never fully recover from the live footage that I witnessed that day.
Ten years later, and we are a stronger nation. We have learned from the attacks, and have made ourselves a better nation. A nation that does not take crap from anyone!
My deepest condolences go out to all of the people directly and indirectly affected by the terrorist attacks on that day. May we survive another ten years without pain.