It seems like every generation has their defining tragedy. That one moment when everyone seems to remember exactly where they were and what they were doing. For my parent’s generation it was the Kennedy assassination. For my generation it is 9/11.
This morning at work everyone has been talking about what they were doing when they learned the towers had been hit. It is amazing that after twelve years the memories are still so crystal clear.
I learned about it when a co-worker came out of his office and said that one of the World Trade Center towers had been hit by a plane, but that nobody knew whether it was an accident or an attack. A few minutes later he came back out, his face completely drained of color, and said that another plane had hit the second tower. At that moment we knew the terrible truth. I remember the whole office going silent, completely in shock. After that there was a flurry of activity with everyone trying to get on the internet or crowding into the offices that had radios. I remember the frustration of not knowing what was happening, and the fear of not knowing what was to come. Mostly I remember this terrible feeling of sorrow and vulnerability. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced, before or since.