That’s the first thing I’ll always remember when I think back to September 11, 2001. I was sitting at my computer in a Microsoft Windows 2000 course when I noticed the email from my buddy that come across my screen.
“That’s strange”, I thought as I entered “www.cnn.com” into the web browser and pressed enter. I had to see what he was talking about. But nothing happened. It was as if the Internet was down. I received a timed-out message. Could it be that everyone was checking out the news story at the exact same time as me?
The instructor was oblivious to the events that were occurring and kept on with his instruction. Meanwhile, cell phones started to ring in the classroom. Another plane hit the other tower. A plane just crashed into the Pentagon. Something was wrong.
We began hearing rumors of a plane being shot down in Pennsylvania. Another airliner headed to Chicago and the Sears Tower. Yet another one claimed there were planes headed to Los Angeles too. What the hell was going on?
We tried to listen to the teacher talk about this new Windows operating system but eventually it was pointless. It was obvious our hearts were 90 minutes away in downtown Manhattan as hell was breaking loose.
Then… the Towers started to fall.
I remember my daughter was not even a month old at the time, and the priest from church was planning to pay a visit to our home that Friday to welcome her into the world. Obviously, that would never happen.
It’s sometimes hard to believe that it’s been eleven years. And I still have an empty feeling inside when I think about all the lives were needlessly lost.
I suppose it’s the same way my grandparents felt on December 7, 1941 and November 22, 1963. You think the world is ending but in reality, maybe it’s something bigger reminding us all just how short and precious life really is.