Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Into the Fire

Where were you on September 11, 2001? I will always remember.

I was in Victoria Texas in a staff meeting with the C.L. Thomas company owned by Cliff Thomas. Cliff had a daughter that lived in New York City a couple of blocks from the "Twin Towers". His Administrative Assistant opened the door and passed Cliff a note. She had never done this in the two years I worked with "Speedy Stop". I had no idea what had happened or why she had done this. Cliff dropped the note and left the room. One of the management staff picked up the note and read it out loud. New York City has been attacked by terrorists.

We all bolted from the conference room and turned on TV's and computers to try and follow the events that unfolded. As the second "Twin Towers" was hit my emotions bubbled over and I couldn't fight back the tears and fear. I sat with a friend who was Muslim and worked in the office for me. I advised him to go home and lay low for a couple of days, as I knew he would become a target.

Then the Pentagon was hit and I knew all hell was breaking out. Was this ever going to stop? Would the attacks come to an end? Then the saga of the last plane was painted and those brave heroes gave their lives in Pennsylvania, to see that the Capitol wasn't hit.

It hit me. I was 200 miles away from my family and Austin was George W. Bush's "Hometown" also at that point. What if Austin was on the radar? I called my wife and we talked. Usually never did this when I was at work. I couldn't get this fear out of my belly that Austin might be a target and asked my wife to have our sons stay home. It was a gut wrenching feeling. I felt totally helpless!

The "Twin Towers" crashed to the ground in a few seconds and nothing was left. All those people and first responders were gone. We knew and didn't talk about it. The TV broadcasters tried to tell us survivors would be looked for. We knew different! How many lives and families would be effected and what did this mean for our country? We knew it would never be the same again.

For days we all were glued to the TV trying to rationalize these evil zealots and rationalize their actions. Nothing could be discerned. They were terrorists, plain and simple and we had let our guard down as a country.

The days passed and airplanes started flying again and people went back to work, but we all knew we would never be "Free" again! We would always have to be vigilant. Until the day I die I will "Never Forget"!!! The Boss said it best http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOQNkyrVe6c. Peace to all!