Twelve years have passed, but I remember that morning as though it was yesterday. The Mrs. Brosephus and I were listening to the Ryan Cameron Morning Show on Atlanta’s Hot 97.5 radio station. That morning, they were talking and poking fun at Whitney Houston’s appearance at the MTV Music Awards show from the previous weekend. A little after 8:50 am, one of the news reporters mentioned a story about a plane hitting the World Trade Center.
The summer before, I had purchased the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 for my computer. I had played around with the simulator enough to know that there should not have been any commercial air traffic over that part of Lower Manhattan. So, thinking it was a small plane that had veered off course, I turned the tv on and switched it to CNN. What I saw next left me speechless.
Looking at the gaping hole in the WTC North Tower, I told my wife that something very bad had happened as no small aircraft could have caused such damage. My thoughts had distilled down to two possible causes. Either equipment or pilot failure had caused a plane to veer way off course on approach to JFK Airport, or it was not an accident at all. I leaned heavily on the failure as I could not fathom anybody purposefully crashing an airplane into a building. A few minutes of watching CNN changed that all as we both watched the 2nd plane crash into the South Tower. All I could say at that moment was “Oh sh*t, we’re under attack” as my wife and I both watched things unfold before our very eyes.
So much has changed since that fateful day, yet so much remains the same. Whitney Houston is no longer with us, but Ryan Cameron is still on the radio in Atlanta. He’s switch stations, switched time slots, but he’s right back on in the mornings. The Pentagon has been made whole again, and there’s a memorial there as a reminder of that morning.
While on a trip to Boston years ago, I stayed at the Hilton Hotel right at the entrance to the airport. As luck would have it, this was my view from the window in my room.
It’s kind of hard to make out, but it is the 9/11 Memorial there at Boston Logan Airport. Two of those flights originated there, and the memorial is in remembrance of those two flights and the people who lost their lives on board. The pathways leading to the memorial itself retraces the paths of those two flights as they traveled into New York that morning. Inside the glass building are two panels representing each of the towers. For each tower, the panel gives the time the flights departed Logan on one side and the people on board the flight on the opposite side. As you enter the memorial from the outside, you see the times, and only upon completely entering the memorial do you see the names.
At 7:59, American Airlines Flight 11 departed with 92 people on board.
At 8:14, United Airlines Flight 175 departed with 65 people on board.
If you’re in the Boston area, I strongly recommend visiting the memorial. It is a very moving experience to say the least. September 11, 2001 was one day that I don’t think I will ever have a problem remembering as though it was yesterday. A special thanks to those who crew aircraft, whether civilian or military. Also, a special thanks to military personnel, first responders, and their families. It is sometimes a thankless job, but I appreciate all that you do. Feel free to share any stories that you would like to share.
- 9/11 Survivor Recalls Escaping Collapsing Marriott Center (voanews.com)
- Question Time: Remembering Sept. 11, 2001 (kokomotribune.com)
- My 11 September story (kblakecash.wordpress.com)
- First Look: 9/11 Museum to balance grief with remembrance (photoblog.nbcnews.com)
- With 9/11 anniversary nearing, workers making progress at World Trade Center site (nj.com)