Tuesday September 11th 2001 I received a phone call at what I used to perceive as being early in the morning, especially for a college senior. My mom, calling from the Dallas area in Texas, was on the other end informing me that the United States was under attack and to turn on the TV. I grabbed the remote and as the TV turned on my very first thought was this was a nightmare and couldn't be real. Still in foggy haze from a long night of "studying" I saw the images of two burning towers and my body was shocked into being wide awake.
After that my preceived nightmare turned into a reality that will forever be burned into my brain and heart. The next few hours were a bit of a haze and seemed to blend together. I was going to college in Millersville, PA, an area in which I still live. My roommates and I gathered around the TV in the living room of our house and didn’t move for the entire day.
In an age before widely used text messaging and multimedia smart phones our only source of information was a phone call, the TV or the old dial up internet. When United Airlines Flight 93 went down in Somerset County PA, my mom grew greatly concerned and tried to get through to me, but cell phone service was down and I couldn’t be reached. I remember when she finally did get a hold of me she expressed her concern and I let her know that the flight went down from where we were. Later we learned about the courageous passengers on that flight and how their fight against the highjackers caused the plane to crash in a field in Pennsylvania rather then the Whitehouse or the Pentagon. Their actions and sacrifice saved many lives and will always be remembered.
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 I was again asleep when news came across the wire that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by US forces in Pakistan. This time it was not a phone call, but a text message from my mom that informed me of the news. 10 years after the worst attack on American soil our mission of getting the man responsible had been accomplished.
This morning driving into work I listened to 610 WIP as callers were recounting how they felt last night and this morning hearing the news and how it made them feel about that horrible day 10 years ago. For one morning sports was not talked about, only to mention that as news broke last night, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia erupted into a chant of "USA...USA" in the 8th and 9th innings. Mets fans and Phillies fans alike stood united in a chant for freedom. Just as Americans, Republican or Democrat, stood united in the aftermath of 9/11 and will always stand united in the face ot tragedy and threats.
I thought about my son as I heard the news and as I remembered September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday. I thought about how I don’t ever want him to have to see that kind of violence and tragedy. Then I took a little comfort in the fact of knowing that one evil person had been eliminated and that’s one less threat the world has to worry about. I know the war is not over and their will be a new Public Enemy #1 today, but by extinguishing the life of Bin Laden America has won the battle. America will win this war and the rest of the world needs to know that, the message was sent load and clear last night. It took 10 years but America never stopped hunting; that shows our drive and our will to win, not for revenge but for humanity. USA!!