Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: North Bay Area, CA
September 11th, Lest we Forget
As today is September 11th, I had to pause for a moment and remember those lost on that tragic day.
It's been 18 years now. 18. There are brand new kids I work with who don't remember it because they were toddlers when it happened.
Where were you when you found out?
I was at work. I walked in just after the first aircraft struck the tower. I stood there and watched the second one strike. I knew right then it was an act of war.
I could only guess at the perpetrators but I had a gut feeling it was an Al Qeda affair.. I knew exactly what it meant, and told my section to be prepared for war time footing. Call their families and tell them we might not be home until late.
We went about our normal business, waiting to hear from the major command or headquarters Air Force what the next move was for us. After all, we were the premier air lift wing in the Air Force.
Nothing came. Not that day, not the next, nor even the next. Finally, after 3 days we were called to action. We were ready too, given the time we'd had to prepare.
We did our jobs got mobilized, moved people and equipment to where it needed to be. Then we waited. Waited until we saw the preparations we'd helped build go into action.
When word came we were in Afghanistan and special operators were calling strikes on targets I'm pretty sure everyone of us cheered. Some out loud, some of us quietly.
I moved on from that indirect support role, and into the fight in a direct support role, refueling strike aircraft in the AOR.
Everytime I heard over the radio that there were bombs on target or a weapons expenditure count I cheered inside.
I'd gone to the "pit". I'd seen it for myself. The spot on our nations soil where nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans perished that day.
I stood down on the platform that was perched out, over the pit and felt the tidal wave of grief and emotion that flooded in from all sides. Never in my life have I been moved like that. It felt like all 3,000 souls were crying through my being.
I will never forget that day. We, as a nation should never forget. Not only those who perished in the most heinous attack ever on our sovereign soil, but those who sacrificed their lives to save others that day.
One gut wrenching vision I carry with me for the rest of my life, was going to the fire fighters memorial at the World Trade Center site. It is or rather was off limits to all but the families of those fire fighters who perished on September 11th. When we were let in, I saw a childs toy car. You know, the kind a toddler would sit in and push along with their feet. One it, scrawled in crayon by a child's hand was a note. It read "I miss you daddy"
I cried like a little child myself when I saw it. It brings back a rush of raw emotion even thinking of that moment while I type this.
THAT is why we can never forget. The brave men and women who tried to stop the last aircraft from being crashed and killing even more and sacrificed themselves in the process. THEY are why we can never forget.
Keep all of them in your thoughts and remember their sacrifice. Remember. Remember them, and also that 18 years later, we are still fighting a war in Afghanistan............sean
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My garage: 2000.5 Aprilia Mille R, 2000 Ducati 996, 1994 EX500 basket case, 1993 Ducati 900 SS, 2004 Suzuki GSXR600, 1992 GSXR750 oil boiler, 1983 Suzuki XN-85 Turbo