My recollection of September 11, 2001:
The morning of Sept. 11, 2001 began no differently
for me than any other a cup of coffee in hand, the morning
news playing on television and That's where it all changed.
Not for a second, or even a moment, but forever.
Breaking news indicated that a small plane had flown
into the side of one of the Twin Towers in New York City, a place
where I had visited often. I have stood at the base of those magnificent
monstrosities and cringed at what it would be like for one of
them to ever topple. But of course, they never would.
As news crews arrived on the scene of the World
Trade Center, and a helicopter news cameraman pointed the lens
at the side of the tower, I could see flames barreling out the
It was a moment I shall never forget. While one
tower burned, from out of nowhere another plane was suddenly visible.
Then, without warning or expectation, another explosion rocked
the second tower so hard that it shook me at the very core of
my being over 300 miles away from the point of impact.
Then I remember my chest hurt, my breathing was
harder than normal and my pulse was racing beyond belief.
A combination of shock and disbelief resounded within my spirit.
Before I could recover from the first impact, a second had already
Without mercy, news anchors continued to talk about
yet another plane this one landing in the side of the Pentagon
near Washington, D.C.
While attempting to process the events that were
taking place before my very eyes, I heard more talk, this one
about a fourth airplane reportedly in flight to the nation's capital.
I remember wanting to run, but not knowing what I was running
to, or running from, I felt almost glued to the floor on which
I was standing.
The events that surrounded the fourth plane, Flight
91, played out like a Hollywood movie, with death and destruction,
offset by courage and heroism. The people aboard that flight literally
sacrificed their lives to save the countless lives of so many
other potential victims.
In the midst of darkness, suddenly a light shined
through. At a time when nothing made sense at all, without warning
we were embraced by selfless and sacrificial acts of bravery.
I watched in utter amazement when the towers came crashing down.
I watched as people ran for their lives, only to be engulfed by
complete darkness brought about the massive clouds of black smoke.
Do I remember? I shall never forget. Within an instant every playing
field was leveled. Blacks and whites, young and old, rich and
poor every person could relate to one another.
Every person, gripped by fear and anguish, shock,
and a sense of numbness that doesn't go away. The past two years
has been like recovering from a stroke. Little by little the numbness
wears off and the feeling begins to return. But you don't forget
where you've been, and you don't forget how you got there. You
only hope and pray that you never have to go there again.
Don Kesner, age 51
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