"Where were you when the world stopped turning that September dayThis is a verse in the song "Where were you?" by Alan Jackson. Just one of a few that have come out since the 9/11 attacks on the two towers in New York City. It's a question we ask quite a bit, especially around this time. Just a generation before us, they were asking, "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?". I am too young to answer this, but my mom still remembers it clear as a bell to this day. Same with me when it comes to 9/11. It is very important that we document this for future generations. Just like I am too young to be able to tell you where I was when Kennedy was shot, my daughter is too young to tell me where she was when the two towers went down. Document it. Journal it. Whatever you can do to pass down this information. History.com has a timeline set up documenting the events of the day. Click here to read about it.
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry"
Now that you know how the events happened, Here is my story...
It was a school day for me. I was attending Hickey College at West Port Plaza off Page Ave in St. Louis, Missouri. My normal morning routine involved listening to my cds while on my commute to school. So I had no ideas anything was going on at that moment. When I arrived at school and joined my group of friends, they were talking about something that happened to the two towers. One said, they heard a plane hit one of the two towers. Another said, no they heard it was the pentagon. The stories they were describing all seemed so unreal. I honestly thought it was rumors started by news stations or something. It was too bizarre to believe.
After our first class, we all went to the local restaurants to check out the news to find out what was going on. I ran to the local pizza place there in the plaza cause I knew they had a tv. I will never forget what I saw. It was still before the towers had fallen. The site was horrific. Smoke everywhere. Huge holes in the buildings. I kept telling myself this wasn't real. That this only happens in the movies. Not in real life. We only had a 10 minute break in between classes so I couldn't stay long. But that 10 minutes was enough to shock my world. I went back to class in a daze. A few of my friends did not come back right away. They were watching the news reports. I don't know how we got through the rest of the day, but we did. As the day went on, we learned more and more about what happened. We learned terrorists had hijacked the planes, using them to attack the two towers, the pentagon and even the White House. The plane meant to attack the White House was unsuccessful thanks to the brave passengers on board.
After school, I had to go to work. I was a clerk at One Way Bookshop on Manchester Rd in West County. When we got there, my co-worker had figured out how to put on the local news on one of our TVs. For hours we watched the aftermath. We heard stories about gas stations raising the prices of gasoline in anticipation of what was to come, but the government stepped in and stopped it. I could not process this. Could not. It was all too scary. Were we going to go to war? Is this the beginning of the end? What could we expect?
Since 9/11, many changes have occurred. Stricker safety precautions have been put in place when it come to flying. We used to be able to go with people up to gate to see them off, or even meet them at the gate when they arrived. Not anymore. All national monuments increased their security measures such as checking bags or only allowing certain items past their checkpoint. One change that I remember occurred down at Bull Shoals Lake, a place we used to vacation a lot. We used to be able to get right up close to Bull Shoals Dam in our boat, but they now have buoys up blocking the path and they will sound an alarm if you get too close. Even the tours have changed. You have to park at one location and be bussed in. Safety measures today that you may get frustrated at or complain about, but that are there because of this event.
It was amazing to see everyone come together from different backgrounds, beliefs, races, putting their differences aside to join as "One Nation" like we should, to help each other, support each other and love each other. We don't always agree, but we are still One Nation. I read somewhere that this year will be the first year where 9/11 will be taught in schools as history. It's amazing how far we have come and grown as a nation. But never forget how we got here. Never forget those who lost their lives and those who gave their lives. Never forget...
I'm going to close this blog post with a commercial that was aired during the Super Bowl in remembrance of 9/11. The commercial only aired one time during Super Bowl XXXVI on February 3, 2002, but many people have never forgotten it. Anheuser-Busch's creative team came up with the concept and moved heaven and earth to make the commercial. They had to get approval from members of Congress, the advertising community and from New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani. "We filmed in New York City," said Bob Lachky, former executive vice president of Anheuser-Busch Global Creative. "We had a helicopter going over the Brooklyn Bridge. Mayor Giuliani let us into the city -- the only film company of any sort right after 9-11. To actually come into air space with our helicopter to film the Clydesdale... the hitch coming into Battery Park and it was amazing...just amazing." It was amazing, especially considering how New York was a city still hurting. And yet a St. Louis-based company, touched by the pain of the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil, took a risk to help one of our favorite cities and our nation heal. (a) I have to admit, watching it again, even 17 years later, still causes me to tear up.
Lyrics from MetroLyrics
(a)-Fox 2 News in St. Louis: (https://fox2now.com/2018/09/11/clydesdales-show-respect-in-9-11-budweiser-ad-that-aired-only-once/)
Video footage from YouTube