I remember what I was doing on the morning of 9/11 sleeping. I was not working then but trying to keep to a night schedule as that is when most of my work happens. I was aroused to the hurried "you have to get up the country is under attack". Yea yea I'm thinking the bed isn't on fire so I guess I'm okay. I'm one only to respond when I know for sure if emminent death is at hand. I got up to see the rerun of the strike on the first tower. Like something out of a movie the plane flying into the first tower. It seemed sureal. Then the second tower is hit. The film from street level showing the second plane fly directly into the building. The shock like a hit in the head was mind numbing. But what followed was worse. The office workers jumping from the towers. What were they thinking? Then some while later the collapse. A doctor walked the street with his video camera giving a first hand report with the sound of firemens chirping alarms. We're later told that these alarms only go off if a fireman stands still for more than a minute. You could hear them everywhere the doctor walked. Then there was the dust. Everything was covered grey and the air was filled with choking dust. I don't know how the doctor was able to walk aroung without choking half to death himself. He found a fireman in the street and was able to get a few breaths of fresh air from the man's respirator.
And so the story was played over and over and the shock spread throughout the country and the world. People from around the world showed their kindness and sympathy in any way they could. An army of volunteers from around the country went to NY to help. Firefighters and police came and offered their help. Search dogs and their trainers came from far and wide.
There was for the first few days hope. Hope that some would be found under the rubble. At the third day I realized that they wouldn't find anyone. Two 100+ story buildings collapsed down to 7 stories. I knew then that this would be a recovery mission. There is the pain. The pain of knowing that those desperate relatives searching for a word and posting photos of loved ones would not see them again. Then for me there was the pain of knowing I couldn't get there to assist. All the training and easy to get resources and no way to get there. No planes flying for a week and NY over 3000 miles from my home. Retail came to a grinding halt. It was looking like Bin Ladin had won this battle but not for long.
They say time heals all wounds. That may be true but the scars will last a lifetime.