Fourteen years on

I have never been one to turn on the TV in the morning to watch the news. The car I was driving didn’t have a functional radio. I was blindsided by CNN on that Tuesday morning in the break room of the Dublin Home Depot.

Everyone was gathered around the 19″ CRT hanging from the wall. We watched as both planes hit the towers.

A few days prior, we had wrapped up a pallet of US flags to send back to the manufacturer, as they hadn’t sold well that July. Someone got the idea to pull them out and hang them throughout the store.

I ran home and got some TV antennas so we could watch the continuing coverage on the screens throughout the store.

There wasn’t much business that day. Every customer–mostly contractors who had to work, one way or another–was in a daze.

Heather and I looked for a place to eat dinner that evening–quite a few restaurants had closed. We settled on Jersey Mike’s Subs in Powell. Not that it isn’t a good place to eat or anything, but we haven’t been back there in fourteen years, as the negative memories are still fresh.

I was one of the lucky ones. I didn’t know anyone closely involved with the events of that day. Yet, like all Americans, we were all touched by the tragic events in New York, Pennsylvania, and in Washington. Not since the nineteenth century had the mainland US been attacked by a foreign power.

The bombings in Oklahoma City and Atlanta had affected us, certainly, but those were the acts of madmen, and we knew that they weren’t likely to be repeated. The attacks on September 11 had a different feel. We didn’t know when the next attack would happen.

Life changed for everyone that day. We moved on. I got married, lost my dad, had two kids.

My girls are just getting to the age where I can talk to them about history. I grew up loving history, reading everything I could find. Here, however, is history that I lived..and I have no idea how to talk to the kids about it.

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