There are few seminal moments in one’s life where you know exactly where you were, when it was, and how it changed you. If you are my age then you’ve probably heard from your parents that they remember the moment President Kennedy was shot. Prior to 9/11 my moment was January 28, 1986 with the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. All changed 11 years ago.
At that time my wife was still working. I happened to be off that day. I awoke with her at 5:oo am, kissed her goodbye at 5:30, continued to listen to the clock-radio, then heard it live as the first plane struck at 5:46 PST. We had just moved into our house 2 weeks prior. Our t.v. was not yet hooked up. As the horrendous events of that morning that unfolded I quickly ran to Rite-Aid and bought a set of “rabbit ears” antenna. I came home just in time to watch the static filled images of the towers fall. Like many that day I was glued to my t.v. while also listening to the radio. Also like many, the attacks were my impetus to do something.
In October I sat in a fire department informational class. By December I was in a fire academy and by February I was a volunteer firefighter at my local station. The following year I would quit my job at the bike shop to work for an ambulance company. My friend the Street Dr. would join the military. Not too long thereafter I would get hired as a full-time fireman.
Now it is 11 years later and I am here at the firehouse, my brother-in-law is in Afghanistan, and we think back to how we got here. I am not telling you how to honor the over 3,000 that died that day, or the over 5,000 that have died since, or how to remember this day; I’m just saying that you should.