I wasn’t there. I wasn’t even close. The most vivid recollection is how blue the sky was that Tuesday morning.
It’s 8:56 am edt. Exactly 10 minutes after the first plane hit the first tower. About this time is when my co-worker ran into my office and said
“a plane just hit one of the twin towers, I think it’s a terrorist attack.”
My colleague was an ex Army engineer. He had investigated the terrorist bombing in the American Embassy Kenya, committed by Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaeda, He was the closest to an expert I knew. Our office, located in suburban Atlanta, Georgia; employed 33 people. Only 5 of them, including me, were American born. People from Columbia, Mexico, Iraq, and the Bahamas made up the other 25. All of us crowded around two televisions for several hours.
When the second plane hit, I just went numb. I know someone hugged me. I think I had phone calls from families. I just can’t recall the rest. The world just seemed wrong. That’s the word I use. Wrong. We are America. People, ultimately, like us. We stand for freedom, opportunity, victory, and specialness. Suddenly I realized, we weren’t special. We were hated and targeted. This happened in some unknown country where they didn’t care about each other. I was like the day. Wrong.
There is a cynical view that that day, that blue skied Tuesday, didn’t change anything or anyone. We obsessed over Jennifer Lopez wearing a scarf as a dress the day before. We will obsess about a Kardashian or a dancing c-list star tomorrow. I disagree. I changed. It is hard for me relate to people I knew before that blue skied Tuesday 10 years ago. It’s why I failed at facebook, don’t attend reunions, and rarely speak to people who I don’t think “have grown”. I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago. My politics changed. My religion changed. My self worth changed. The kind of man I wanted to be changed. That blue skied Tuesday morning set in motion a series of new beginnings that put me where I am today.
My office closed it’s doors about 3 hours early that day. I think I drove around for a while and listened to what was happening in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, on the radio. I’ll never forget my tears. At some point, this song came on the radio. It was written during the middle of Irish band U2′s American tour in 1986, 15 years before that blue skied Tuesday morning happened. The lyrics are shockingly appropriate.
Here’s U2′s Bullet The Blue Sky.