(Courtesy of Robert Sigrist)
With the 10th anniversary of the tragic 9/11 attacks, I felt compelled to pen a few lines about my thoughts related to that day. I’ll be honest; I don’t know how much of the news stories, documentaries, and witness accounts I’ll be able to watch. It is interesting to me, but disturbing, and I honestly tend to just get a little overwhelmed with all of the coverage. It’s like picking at a scab that never quite heals over; it doesn’t consume my thoughts, but it’s still there.
Like most, I remember exactly where I was when I found out. I was on my plan period that morning as a science teacher at Lafayette High School in St. Joseph, MO. I saw on Yahoo that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and walked across the hall to tell my colleague, Butch James. I figured it was some random accident, and went about my business.
I flipped on the television in my room just to see some of the updates and footage. Not much later, I looked up at the TV to see that a 2nd plane had hit. I walked over to Butch and told him that he may want to turn the TV on in his room, which something must be up with the 2nd plane hitting. I remember the rest of the day pretty much as a blur, trying to have some semblance of class, but with all of us pretty much glued to the television coverage that I left on in my classroom.
I talked to my wife that morning to just make sure things were ok with her. She said that my son (now 15) came walking in to her from watching Good Morning America and said, “Mom, a plane just flew into that building”. I’m not sure how good his memory of the event is now, or if the memory has almost been created because of the number of times we’ve relived that morning. I remember people were slightly panicked, and I know that evening we sat in line at a gas station because everyone wanted to fill their tanks up to make sure they had gas. The unknown was literally staring us in the face. Uncertainty was the overwhelming emotion most of us had.
It literally scared me for a moment. I then saw it was a C-130 from our nearby Air Guard base. To this day, the sound of them flying over is a comfort and a reminder of the men and women who protect us daily. I remember going to a Chiefs football game not long after 9/11, the first one after the attack. The security was so amped up, and the there was a nervous feeling in the air. I remember the flyover and the national anthem and the feelings of patriotism that day. I remember that it was silly, but something as simple as attending a football game in a big crowd was our way of saying “we won’t live in fear”.