Like so many people probably did, I woke up this morning not thinking about this horrific event 11 years ago. But when I saw the national coverage, the memories came flooding back. I had just found out I was pregnant with Jacob 4 days earlier. Mike told me I should come look at the pictures on the television. I was horrified and actually didn’t believe what I was seeing. Then the second plane hit and I felt this wave of nausea (and not from being pregnant), come over me. And what was most horrifying to me personally, was the plane hitting the Pentagon. After working in Washington, D.C. for 9 years, I never thought in my wildest dreams, anything like that could happen. Then the phone began to ring and never stopped. I was managing a public affairs firm in Seattle, APCO Worldwide, and we were located in Seattle’s World Trade Center. I had employees literally crying and screaming into the phone that they were not going to come to work. I reassured them and we shut the offices down for the day. As it turned out, we left it closed for the week.
But so many things were happening so quickly that it was impossible to wrap my head around it. Air traffic was halted. Commerce stopped. Nothing was normal. Our worlds simply stopped functioning. And for me, that was the most unsettling thing of all. We wake up every morning expecting certain things will be the same. Our ability to move about freely. Our ability to get on an airplane or call someone or pick up the mail. Our everyday functioning. All of that stopped.
And so on this day, 11 years later, as we all move through our worlds, I will take the time to hug my family, tell my friends and colleagues how important they are to me. And most of all, thank God that I live in this country. Because we have the ability to bounce back from even the most horrific of events like this. And I remain so very proud to be an American and to live in this greatest country on earth. And I will never take our liberties here for granted. And I will never forget.