Today is an anniversary that I'm sure that we would rather not have. I mean it's not like you can walk around saying Happy 911:P Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? I do.
Eight years ago I was in the Navy gym at NAS Sigonella, watching AFN's breaking news (although I didn't know what was breaking at the time because I had my headphones on). I looked up right after the first tower was attacked, so all I saw was flames and having a fairly good memory for movies my recal could not go back to any that had this particular scene in it. That's when I took off my headphones, put on my glasses and read the tickers moving across the bottom of the screen. In that moment the second tower was attatcked and I realized that this was no movie. Of course I would have to all the way on the other side of the base away from my ASF gear, I knew where I was going, T.A.D. . . . AGAIN!
There are few worldwide events in a persons life where they can remember where they were and what they were doing when it occured. There was the deaths of JFK & MLK in the 60's, John Lennon & the attempt on Ronald Regan's life in the 80's, and Pricess Diana & Columbine in the 90's. This unfortunately was one for my generation.
It took me all night for me to convince my watch commanders to let me go back to NAS I, only to come back and be told to report in the morning, so I ended up sleeping that night, and subsequently the following 2 weeks, in AIMD's bunk room. My friend, and regular co-worker, Brian woke me up every morning, since he was the mid check and made sure that the Maintenance control had fresh coffee ready for me (it really is the little things). There was no way I would have wanted to claim a cot and live in Disaster Prep with the rest of the security folks, I already had to see them for 18 hours a day why would I want to sleep with. Of course I was always early to gaurdmount, but for any who have wondered how I did it back then that's how. On the backs and support of my friends. I worked 40 18-20 hour days, in a row, before I got just one glorious day off. Numb, from not processing anything, I sat in front of my TV watching whatever string of movies would try and help me forget about the fact that I still had to return to work the next day, washed my cami's (since it was the only piece of clothing I was wearing during those days), and bought whatever food I could that the Navy wives had left over, and would last me until the next time I got by the Comacery, who knew when that would be.
The events of that single day seemed to start a domino effect that we are still realing from, but the men and women who serve this country on that day, as well as today, and the men and women who rose up out of the rubble to help others who were in need as well should not be forgotten, Flight 93 & The Pentagon as well. It's one of the few times that I can think of where we, as a country, seemed all united in a common cause. Why have people forgotten about that? It's sad. But let us not forget.
If you know someone in the military tell them "Thank You", or hug them if you know them. If you know another public servant do the same thing. We should never wait until tomorrow to say what people need to hear today.
Let me know where you were if you feel so abliged.
OH . . . P.S.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TESS!!!