I Wont Forget 9/11: This is My Story


I remember like it was yesterday. We all watched in horror as two planes destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City. I remember the walk to the train station, I was living and working in Chicago at the time, as a city was being emptied of its people. The sound of a sonic boom erupted above me as fighter jets flew over Chicago, another potential, terrorist target. Arriving home, I discovered all of America was glued to its television sets, wondering what had just happened. We learned of another plane, Flight 93, downed in the hinterland of Pennsylvania; only later did we learn of the valiant sacrifice of the first patriots to die in what we would call “the war on terror.” I was scheduled to speak in 25 cities that school year. My first trip was scheduled for later that month of September 2001. Chicago’s O’Hare airport was a ghost town. Being on planes in those days, I would overhear men tell the stewardesses ahead of takeoff, “If there is any trouble let me know.” President George W. Bush joined first responders in New York City days after the attack, uttering those famous words, “The people who knocked down these buildings will be hearing from all of us soon!” Cheers and tears overwhelmed many of us. We were no longer hyphenated-Americans. A new slogan was born, “United We Stand.” America was united in resolve against a common enemy. The world changed on September 11th, 2001. Historians call events such as these, “hinges of history.” The awfulness of that day will always be remembered by Americans like me. We will not forget the sacrifices of soldiers who were triumphant in the war on terrorism. On this twentieth anniversary of 9-11 we pause, praying that “United We Stand,” continues.

For Truth in Two, this is Dr. Mark Eckel, president of the Comenius Institute, personally remembering history, that we might learn from the past.

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  1. Buckpasser Member

    “Let’s roll!”

    • #1
  2. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat

    It seems so long ago yet still so recent.  I can still put myself back in 2001, when I first heard the news out in California, but it seems distant. All the people who loomed so large have gradually faded from view or passed.  Yet, we still say ‘since 9/11’ when we experience extra security at airports and sporting events, because things never went back to the way they were.  And with the ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan fresh in our minds, there will be no putting this behind us.  

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  3. Percival Thatcher

    401 S. La Salle. Across the street from both the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. My officemate mentioned that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. We turned on the TV while I tried to remember if it had been a B-24 or a B-25 that hit the Empire State Building in 1945. (It was a B-25.) Then the second plane hit.

    “That” I said displaying my death-grip on the obvious “was no accident.” Thanks for that, Sherlock.

    Nothing more was accomplished that day. The boss shooed us out of the office about ninety minutes later, announcing that downtown was being evacuated. I walked down Van Buren to Wacker, then up Wacker, not thinking about being right next to Willis Tower until I was right next to Willis Tower. I made that walk trying not to think about how long it would take the wreckage to hit street level if one of the missing planes was to turn up. (9.5 – 11.5 seconds. Maybe less.) Over the Madison St. Bridge. Into Northwest Station. (Yeah, it’s called “the Ogilvie Transportation Center” now. Everybody calls it “Northwest Station” just like everybody still calls Willis Tower “Sears Tower.”) Got on a Northwest line home. Standing room only until at least Park Ridge.

    Got home and watched the news all day.

    • #3