Like when president Kennedy was shot decades earlier, everyone remembers exactly where they were on the fateful morning of September 11, 2001. It is something indelibly etched into the American psyche.
I was in an office building in Herndon, VA outside of Washington, DC.
When the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center someone turned on the TV. I remember thinking to myself "this has to be a terrorist attack". When the second plane hit there was no doubt.
I'll never forget the look on two of my co-workers faces when word came the Pentagon was struck. These two young guys both had fathers who worked there. They rushed out of the building in total panic. Fortunately, I would find out later that neither of their dads was injured.
The project I was working on was for a large technology company, and we were implementing software from an Israeli firm. Other than the Israeli Embassy downtown, there were probably more Israeli nationals in our building than anywhere in the whole metro area - making our building a potential target. A rumor came over the news of a reported car bomb at the State Department. We were told to evacuate and go home.
At the time, I lived with a few college buddies in a large townhouse in Arlington - only a few miles from the Pentagon. One of my housemates was a newly minted FBI agent. I remember him coming home, grabbing a few changes of clothes, and saying "I'll be gone for a few days".
The next time I saw him, he was visibly shaken from exhaustion and from what he had seen. He had been working on recovery and looking for the plane's black box down at the Pentgon crash site. The black box was found in the room right next to where he had been.
Days after the attack, I rode my bike over to the Pentagon area. I still remember seeing the giant flag covering the gaping hole in the side of the building.
Everyone has their own memories of that day, and these are just a few of mine.
The memorial pictured here was down in Charlotte and set up the day before this year's anniversary of that horrible day. It made the memories come flooding back for me. I hope the pictures do the same for you.
No matter how long I live, it is something I will never forget.
Feel free to post your memorie mmemories of that day in the comments.