Monday, September 11, 2006

911 plus 5

It's been 5 years since the attacks on this country by Al Qaeda. Like most Americans, I know where I was when I heard the news. I was in Louisiana, at home, about to leave for work when I saw a report about a plane hitting the World Trade Center in New York. I thought it was terrible, but had no idea what was about to unfold the rest of the morning. I was glued to the TV about the report, when I saw a second plane hit the other tower. At that moment, I knew it was not an accident but an attack. I stayed home as long as I could but had to leave for work. I was driving down to Logansport, and I was in Keachi when I heard on the radio that one of the towers collapsed. I felt sick. I began to tear up thinking about all the people in the building. When I arrived in Logansport, I continued to watch the news and saw the 2nd tower fall. Page was substitute teaching that morning and didn't know anything that was going on, but she was just told to keep the kids inside all day. She didn't hear about this until much later in the afternoon when she got out of school. While at work, we started getting phone calls from friends that they could see Air Force One flying over Shreveport with two fighter jets by its side. They landed at Barksdale Air Force Base. The news was reporting that the President was flying to Oklahoma, but we knew he was here in Louisiana. It was a very surreal day. The worse blow came a little later the next day, while I was at work, Page was home watching the news and a picture of my friend, Chris Newton, came on the TV as one of the victims that crashed into the Pentagon. She was in shock and called me. I couldn't beleive it. It was one of my closest friends in High School. He had just moved from California to Virginia for his job and he was flying back to California to tie up some loose ends and pick up the family's golden retriever. He was married and had two small children. He was only 38 when he died in that crash. 911 was terrible, but now it became even more personal. A few weeks later I went back to California to attend and sing at his memorial service in Long Beach. I remember flying from Shreveport to Dallas on the first leg of my trip, and seeing all the military uniformed soldiers with machine guns roaming the Dallas airport. Wow! But I did feel safer. It's been 5 years and our country has really changed. Unfortunately it is very divided on our War against Terror. Today I was listening to the radio and hearing recordings from reporters and people being interviewed 5 years ago and all those feelings came flooding back.
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Remember how you felt that day?
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My friend, Chris Newton, a victim of 9-11

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