I was still groggy eleven years ago when I heard the planes had struck the towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. I was standing in line to check my bags at LAX, flying home from my first business trip. The days that followed were a blur, but not the moments that immediately followed.
The panicky first few hours were the worst. In a world before social media and twitter, getting decent information proved surprisingly difficult. Phone lines were jammed, and the only rumors that I was seeing or hearing weren’t good, but they weren’t definitive either. My cellphone – a company issued Nextel that belonged on a construction site – was useless.
My thoughts were back with my cousins, coworkers and friends in DC the entire time, praying for their safety, and wanting to be there to help in whatever way I could. In many ways, 9/11 is what told me that DC was my home. My parents lived just hours north in the Central Valley, but where I wanted to be was home in DC. It took me a week to get back, a journey of trains and automobiles with strangers, but all I wanted to see was the flag flying over the Capitol.
This is a difficult anniversary for many who live here, and I urge our readers to respect those difficult memories today. Our thoughts are with all of those who lost loved ones that day.