In the wake of 9/11…
I was slated to go with my department manager on a “ship-check” to the USS Carl Vinson which was tied up in Seattle. I was working in the applications engineering department of a multinational that made 3-phase uninterruptible power supplies, one of our customers was the US Navy, and we had to get a look at the space where one of our boxes was placed.
My bag was packed and in my car. I got along well with my boss, her boss, and his boss. I was excited to go on the trip because it meant I was going to be flying. I love flying.
I'd just finish Tom Clancy’s Debt of Honor the night before… there was a sense of surreal envelopment into the event… standing there watching the TV that had been brought into the area. It should come as no surprise when I write that I felt like I was being drawn into in a Tom Clancy novel.
The state airport was less than 20 miles away, and our factory was located in the final approach path. There was almost always the sound of a jet in the background. But not that day. The lockdown of all aircraft following the attacks. I went outside to grab a smoke. and the silence was eerie adding to the sensation of the unreal.
My family of origin was far from perfect, but there was a deep love for this country. To add to my sense of being in a novel the feeling of disbelief, anger, and growing urgency to learn more predominated my morning. I learned first hand that the news media was motivated by the sensational. I listened to sensational accounts of local stories from the local train station and airport in the city where I lived.
National media was slightly calmer but were still sensationalizing accounts. Finally, I found a network online that was indicating that they were still awaiting verification of the event that had recently transpired… That was the day I found NPR.
A day of disappointment. A day of grief for our nation. The incredible stories that were real, and the video accounts made by the residents and workers present nearby shook our nation.
The company lost an employee that day in the attack. A young man, reaping the rewards of his career in marketing was returning to NYC after visiting home during the labor day weekend the week before. I didn’t know him, but I knew his sister.
9/11 proved that circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. It changed this nation.
So this looks a bit like rummaging through an attic… seeing items that were placed there years ago. Recalling any of the feelings, whether happy or sad, that are associated with them. These were some of mine.